An armed police officer guards as Muslim refugees stand behind him at a refugee camp in Sittwe, capital of Rakhine State, western Burma. Pic: AP.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former U.S. congressman is warning that minority Rohingya Muslims in Burma face a life-threatening lack of medical care and live in fear of attack.

Tom Andrews is president of the U.S.-based activist group United to End Genocide. He recently visited camps housing tens of thousands of people displaced by communal violence between Buddhists and Muslims in the Southeast Asian country.

The former Democratic lawmaker is issuing a hard-hitting report Monday that calls for President Barack Obama to use his leverage with Burma ‘s government to demand protection for the stateless Rohingya .

Andrews says Rohingya are being targeted because of their religion and ethnicity. He contends there are worrying signs that mass violence could break out.

The Burma Embassy in Washington did not immediately comment.

Subscribe to Asian Correspondent

Receive our weekly round-up of the most important stories in Asia

We will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.