WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is calling on both Burma and neighboring Bangladesh to help the victims of recent communal violence in western Burma that left scores dead and thousands displaced.

Rohingya refugees

Rohingya Muslims who fled Burma to Bangladesh to escape religious violence, sit in a boat after being intercepted crossing the Naf River by Bangladeshi border authorities. Pic: AP.

Assistant secretary of state for human rights and democracy, Michael Posner, said Thursday the governments of both countries were obligated “to ameliorate this very challenging situation.”

Bangladesh has turned back more than 2,000 ethnic Rohingyas this month who tried to enter the country after clashes between Rohingyas and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in Burma.

Posner said the U.S. has urged Bangladesh to open its borders in accordance with its international obligations under a refugee convention.

He said Washington was also very concerned about 15,000 people displaced inside Burma’s Rakhine state.

Posner was responding to a question submitted during a live webcast.