Morgan Ortagus, Department Spokesperson
The United States commends the Government of Indonesia and local authorities in Aceh for their response to the arrival of 99 Rohingya refugees on June 24 in Indonesian waters and recognizes Indonesia’s close coordination with UNHCR and IOM. We applaud Indonesia’s humanitarian actions with respect to this vulnerable population and for serving as a leader within ASEAN on this pressing issue. It sets a strong example for countries in the region and the entire international community. The United States encourages regional responsibility-sharing and cooperation in search and rescue operations and the provision of safe and humane disembarkation to the most vulnerable who arrive on ASEAN countries’ shores, especially during this pandemic.
At the same time, we are deeply disturbed by reports that the Burmese military has undertaken an offensive in Rathedaung Township, Rakhine State, that appears to have displaced thousands, including ethnic Rakhine and Rohingya. We have expressed our deep concern about escalating violence between the Burmese military and the Arakan Army and its impact on local communities. We underscore our previous calls for a cessation of fighting, peaceful dialogue, renewed efforts to protect local communities, and access for humanitarian organizations.