WASHINGTON – The Senate's top Republican says Myanmar's civilian leader is urging immediate and improved access for humanitarian assistance to the region amid a violent campaign against the country's Rohingya Muslims.
During remarks Thursday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he spoke with Aung San Suu Kyi (ahng sahn soo chee) and she repeated her call for "peace and reconciliation" in Myanmar's western Rakhine state.
The violence began in late August when Rohingya insurgents attacked Myanmar police and paramilitary posts, and the military responded with "clearance operations." Many Rohingya homes were burned and thousands of Rohingya fled to neighboring Bangladesh.
McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, voiced support for Suu Kyi. He says her civilian government has little control over Myanmar's military. McConnell also says Myanmar's path to a more democratic government will take time.