WENY News - State Dept official to travel to Myanmar following Rohingya atta

State Dept official to travel to Myanmar following Rohingya attacks

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Aung San Suu Kyi's attends a Myanmar parliament meeting on April 8, 2015. Aung San Suu Kyi's attends a Myanmar parliament meeting on April 8, 2015.
Aung San Suu Kyi's attends a Myanmar parliament meeting on April 8, 2015. Aung San Suu Kyi's attends a Myanmar parliament meeting on April 8, 2015.
Aung San Suu Kyi's attends a Myanmar parliament meeting on April 8, 2015. Aung San Suu Kyi's attends a Myanmar parliament meeting on April 8, 2015.
Tens of thousands of refugees are trapped on the border into Bangladesh without basic food and medicine amid operations by the Myanmar military, which have already killed hundreds. Tens of thousands of refugees are trapped on the border into Bangladesh without basic food and medicine amid operations by the Myanmar military, which have already killed hundreds.
Tens of thousands of refugees are trapped on the border into Bangladesh without basic food and medicine amid operations by the Myanmar military, which have already killed hundreds. Tens of thousands of refugees are trapped on the border into Bangladesh without basic food and medicine amid operations by the Myanmar military, which have already killed hundreds.
By Michelle Kosinski and Laura Koran CNN

(CNN) -- Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Patrick Murphy will travel to Myanmar to meet with officials this weekend regarding the violence in the country, including the attacks on Rohingya Muslims.

Murphy summoned Myanmar's ambassador to the US, Aung Lynn, Wednesday to express US concerns about the violence, including recent attacks on Rohingya villages, according to a senior State Department official, who called the message sent by the move "a tough one."

More than 370,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh to escape the violence since August 25, according to the United Nations, an average of almost 20,000 a day.

The Trump administration has previously noted its concern about the violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state, but has so far avoided levying any direct criticism against the country's civilian government or its de facto leader, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Instead, the State Department has called for a de-escalation of tensions between security forces and Rohingya militias, and urged Myanmar's government to expand access to humanitarian aid groups and journalists.

The administration has also thanked the government of neighboring Bangladesh for hosting the refugees.

US ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted that message Wednesday, writing, "We thank Bangladesh for hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees, fleeing violence, with nowhere to go. #CrisisInBurma"

The tweet came shortly after UN Secretary General António Guterres gave a press conference in New York, calling the humanitarian situation "catastrophic" and urging Myanmar's security forces to suspend their actions.

On Monday, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein described the attacks against the Rohingya as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing."

The current crisis, which was initially triggered by an attack on security forces, is now in its third week.

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