U.S. to Declare That Myanmar’s Military Committed Genocide

WASHINGTON — Five years after Myanmar’s military began a killing spree against ethnic Rohingya, driving nearly one million people from their country, the United States has concluded that the widespread campaign of rape, crucifixions, and drownings and burnings of families and children amounted to genocide.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken is set to announce the determination — a legal designation for crimes that American investigators documented in 2018 — at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington on Monday. It almost certainly will trigger additional economic sanctions, limits on aid and other penalties against Myanmar’s military junta, the Tatmadaw.

The Tatmadaw overthrew Myanmar’s civilian government and its nascent democratic efforts, led by the Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, in February 2021. In one of its first acts in office, the Biden administration declared that the military takeover amounted to a coup.

But an internal debate that began during the Trump administration had, until now, delayed a decision on whether the State Department should formally accuse Myanmar of committing genocide against the Rohingya, a minority ethnic group that is largely Muslim.