Myanmar army 'responsible' for Rohingya crisis: US
The United States holds Myanmar's military leadership "accountable" for the Rohingya refugee crisis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday, drawing a distinction with Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government.
The US official warned the world won't standby as a witness to the crimes committed in the country which has affected millions.
"We're extraordinarily concerned by what is happening with Rohingya in Burma," Tillerson said.
"I've been in contact with Aung San Suu Kyi the leader of the civilian part of the government, as you know this is a power sharing government.
"We really hold the military leadership accountable for what's happening," he said, warning the world won't stand and "be witness to the atrocities that have been reported".
In the last seven weeks, more than half a million Rohingya have fled Rakhine and crossed into Bangladesh.
Their stories have shocked the world, with accounts of Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs murdering and raping civilians before torching their villages to the ground.
The western region descended into chaos when Rohingya militants attacked Myanmar police posts on August 25, triggering the brutal military crackdown.
Tillerson said that Washington understands that Myanmar is facing "serious rebel terrorist elements" in Rakhine, but warned the military must be disciplined and "restrained."
And he said Myanmar must grant fuller access to aid agencies to help civilians and to allow the world "a fuller picture of what is going on".
"Someone is going to be held to account for that and it's up to the military leadership of Burma to decide what role do they want to play in the future of Burma," he said.
"This is a real test for this power sharing government."
Myanmar's recent return to elected rule has given it a hybrid government in which the military still has wide powers in the security domain and in Rakhine state, where the United Nations has reported ethnic cleansing.