tv U.S. House of Representatives U.S House of Representatives CSPAN April 25, 2018 6:32pm-6:47pm EDT
traveled throughout yugoslavia and all the different principalities and republics. it was a spectacular, beautiful country and it sparked a lifelong interest for me in this egion. the people there who survived conquests, whether the ottoman empire to being part of so many parts of human history. we're also victims the nazi invasion as well in world war ii. i had the lucky opportunity graduate from college and work as a foreign correspondent in the office of the consulate in new york. i worked at that time alongside abc sports in the winter olympics in sarajevo in 1984. the war in yugoslavia was a tragic saga, especially for me with my long history and love of the country. i work with people from the
consulate from all the republics and autonomous provinces from the former yugoslav yasm it seemed unthinkable to me that this human genocide could occur in the region of the world which occupied -- which had many occupying forces due to its unique geopolitical place in the world. yugoslavia was known as the bridge between the east and west, y you could get to the northeast along the mediterranean. this region had diverse cultures from all parts of the middle east and the world, all united together, for centuries, living alongside each other with different values, certainly they had their differences. sadly, unfortunately, after all this history of unrest, the war in yugoslavia eventually elisted the worst in human kind and was witness to one of the most horrific generalsides in our generation against bosnian citizens. to the bosnian community, april, again, marks 26 years since the
beginning of the siege in sare yaw vote, bosnia. the horrific period of violence lasted over three 1/2 years and was the longest siege in modern warfare. thousands of people include 1g,500 children were illed. the massacre killed 8,000 boys an mens in the war. in addition to these horrific kill, more than 20,000 civilians were expeled from the area. many of these bosnian refugees immigrated to my region. we're thrilled to have them. and just worth noting that my son was actually a student in the after school program at the jewish community center in my area and the jewish community center was actually instrumental in helping to find safe refuge in our community for these bosnian muslims who were suffering from unconscionable
genocide and atrocities against them. i think it was the solidarity and sympathy an understand, the true understanding of genocide that our jewish citizens recognized in our region and we're always, we are grate to feel them and we are grateful to the bosnian community for the decision to have so many wonderful bosnian families business our city and now remain as citizens. they provided the same ingenuity and entrepreneurship and vie bracy and creativity that i remember during my names of studying this special part of the world and i'm especially grateful to them for enabling me to sustain the bond that developed between me and my family that traveled to that part of the world and this amazing group of people for the past 37 years of my life. it's become almost a vocation or me just my study ofer is bo croatia, my study of this region. as we mark the tragedy of the past, i want to mention a little about my city, utica, new york,
has been recognized as one of the friendly cities to refugee. the city of youth call -- utica school district has 42 languages spoken. we have a number of people coming from war torn areas where we have graciously and generously our community accepted them and provided them a home. but i want to just highlight one of the communities that is in our region as well, the people rom myanmar and over 700,000 rohingya people who have fled in the face of expunges and government forces. in syria, bashar al-assad's military butchers its own citizens and uses chemical weapons without regard for international law. i just want to join with my colleagues today in remembering these and remembering to ensure that these lessons are never forgotten. but more important, if we could make sure they are never repeated. i just want to sincerely thank
my colleague, congresswoman ann wagner for her leadership on this issue, her tenacity and continued fight to help these people who are the most needy, who have just been victimized in our society and across our country and world. i want to thank you for including me tonight, very special for me to especially recognize the bosnians as my, it's a long part of my history and my heart and sympathy go to these wovenderful people who suffered unfairly. i want to say thank you again to ms. wagner, representative, for your great leadership on this issue and i yield back my time. ms. wagner: i thank the gentlelady for her kind kind wovereds, claud yao tenney, the gentlelady from new york is also a lead for the this cause and this effort that is really about, as we said, human dignity and the human rights across this world. longer areay when no
these refugees suffering. whether it's in syria, on a day when president mack ron addressed a -- president macron addressed a joint session here in this chamber, the president of the people's republic of france who stood with the united states and the united kingdom in bombings against syria targetted against those who had been barrel bombed and victimized and murdered by the assad regime in syria. and we share our a common bond with the bosnian community. we both have very large bosnian communities. many of whom started out as refugees some 20 years ago and now as i said the cultural diversity, the business, the religious presence, has been just wonderful to see flourish in a district like missouri's second congressional district.
so i recognize the common bond that we have there. i thank you for participating in this special order that goes to the heart of genocide and mass atrocities across our globe. i know that the people of your district in new york are also appreciative of all you do here to represent them and those who are the most vulnerable in our society. i thank the gentlelady from new york, ms. claudia tenney. now it's my pleasure to yield to the gentleman from ohio, mr. steve chabot, for as much time as he may consume. mr. chabot: i thank the gentlelady from missouri for yielding. it is genocide awareness prevention month and and the gentlelady from missouri, ann wagner, has been a lead for the speaking out on this critical issue for many years now. and we appreciate her leadership on that. as a senior member of the house foreign affairs committee, i've
had the opportunity to advocate for global human rights issues for many years. tonight, i want to condemn genocide that's been happening before our eyes, the genocide against the rohingya in rakhine state, burr masm last september the burmese military began a so-called clearing operation, allegedly in response to some insurgent attacks. in reality, this was just an excuse for a massive and barbaric campaign to forcibly remove the rohivenga from burma altogether -- the rohingya from burma altogether and remove them from the state once and for all, resulting in other 700,000 rohingya, many children, fleeing burma for bangladesh. this has needlessly left bangladesh and the world with one of the worst humanitarian crises that the world faces today.
while these numbers are truly shocking, as we learn more about the crimes committed by the burmese military, there can be no doubt that this is in fact genocide. when the rohingya arrived in bangladesh they told story after story of the crimes that they had witnessed and that they had personally suffered. widespread killings, mass graves, rapes and other unspeakable horrors and injuries. ese atrocities have been confirmed by many people who had no ax to grind her or anything. so this is something that the world must see and must believe. in addition, hundreds of villages have been burned and others have been simply bulldozed in a clear attempt to prevention the rohingya from ever returning. together, these heinous acts are a deliberate attack -- attempt to irrep rahably harm the
rohingya. this is absolutely genocide. together with mr. engel and mr. crowley in the house i have helped lead the house's efforts to address this crisis. with our passage of h.con.res. 90, the house unegive kaably condemned the burmese mill -- unegive kaably condemned the -- -- unequivocally condemned the burmese action. the burmese military controls much of the government and the civilian leadership has taken no real steps to address this violence. that's why i joined with mr. engel and mr. crowley to introduce the burr many -- burma act to apply tough, targeted sanctions on the individuals involved and leading this genocide. i urge my colleagues to co-sponsor this legislation and then ultimately to vote for it when the time comes. as we remember the victims of
all genocide this month, we must work to adequately address one which is unfolding right before our eyes, right before the world's eyes, right now. so again i want to thank the gentlelady from missouri for calling this particular action into the attention of our colleagues and the attention of the world but also other generalsides and other atrocities that have occurred across the globe. she's truly a leader, we are lucky to have her doing that in congress on an everyday basis but also in particular this evening. thank you very much and i yield back. ms. wagner: i thank the gentleman, mr. steve chabot, for his kind words. he's a leader and a member of the foreign affairs committee. i also have the privilege of serving on. it's an honor to have you here in this special order in genocide awareness and prevention month to give voice to the millions of victims and
to say, we live for a time when this is nonexistent in society. i look forward, mr. speaker, tomorrow, to offering my amendment to the state department's authorization act of 2018 asking the administration to study countries at risk of genocide and mass atrocity crimes and crafting the kind of training regimen for u.s. foreign service officers that are so very important. like forward to the time when my piece of legislation, the elie wiesel genocide atrocities prevention act will be signed into law. it will improve the u.s. efforts to prevent mass atrocity crimes and i think we all in this chamber on a bipartisan level, mr. speaker, continue to hope and more importantly to work toward a time when america says
never again and our actions reinforce our words. so with that, mr. speaker, i'd like to thank my colleagues for coming out, i'd like to thank those advocates this friends committee on national legislation, stand, together we remember, the carl wilkins fellowship and so many others that stand with the victims of genocide and mass atrocities. it's an honor to be with my colleagues here tonight and with the advocacy groups that stand for the millions that say never again. i yield back, mr. speaker, the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. does the gentlelady have a motion? ms. wagner: i offer a motion to adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly the house stands adjourned until 10:00