he Latest: US won’t call Myanmar strife ‘ethnic cleansing’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department is declining to say there has been ethnic cleansing in Myanmar before it completes a review into the matter.

Three officials testifying before the Senate Committee on Foreign were asked for yes or no answer on whether the crackdown that has caused an exodus of Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh was ethnic cleansing.

Patrick Murphy, a senior diplomat for Southeast Asia, said: “My bosses have said it appears to be ethnic cleansing. I’m of that view as well.” But he added that he couldn’t make that call himself.

He said there have been “atrocities, massive displacement, depopulation of villages.”

U.S. officials tell The Associated Press the department is preparing a recommendation as early as this week for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to declare that “ethnic cleansing” is occurring