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US Senators urge Clinton to act on Burma rapes

Thirteen female US Senators have written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging her to take action against Burma’s military-backed regime for its alleged use of rape by government troops.

"Given the Burmese regime's unabated use of rape as a weapon of war, we urge you to call on the regime to end this practice and pursue our shared goal of establishing an international commission of inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity," the group wrote in a letter to Clinton.

The letter went on to cite Noble Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who said that
“rape is used as a weapon by (the) armed forces to intimidate the ethnic nationalities”.

The cross party call for an international inquiry was led by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein and senior Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

The full text of the letter, obtained by Foreign Policy can be read here.

Whilst chairing a UN Security Council meeting on violence against women in 2009, Clinton named both Burma and Sri Lanka as countries where rape was used as a “tactic of war”, much to the ire of the Sri Lankan government.

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