Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today welcomed the committee’s unanimous approval of his bipartisan legislation to impose sanctions on the Burmese military in response to the genocide of the Rohingya people. Chairman Engel’s BURMA Act (H.R. 3190) was advanced in today’s full committee markup and will now head to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

“The Rohingya who have been suffering at the hands of the Burmese military since the horrific attacks in 2017 shouldn’t have to wait for justice any longer. Meanwhile, the military is waging similar violence against other minorities, employing the cruel and inhumane tactics the Burmese army has used for decades. There needs to be relief from the violence and suffering. There needs to be accountability for those who have carried out the genocide against the Rohingya and ongoing horrors against other ethnic minorities. My legislation would provide new tools to help reach those goals,” said Chairman Engel. “I hope this bill moves swiftly through the House and if it reaches the Senate, I hope that body’s leadership will see the dire need to get this measure across the finish line.”

The Burma United through Rigorous Military Accountability (BURMA) Act would prohibit expansion of American military assistance to Burma until reforms take place; require reporting on crimes against humanity, including war crimes and genocide; impose visa and financial restrictions on those responsible for these crimes; support investigations for the prosecution of war criminals; and promote reforms to limit the Burmese military’s stranglehold on Burma’s economy, including the gemstone sector.

Legislation similar to the BURMA Act overwhelmingly passed the House in the 115th Congress as a floor amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. Unfortunately, that provision was not taken up by the Senate and ultimately did not become law.

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