Canada has said they along with the international community must hold the perpetrators of violence against Rohingyas to account and support all the efforts towards building lasting peace and reconciliation in Myanmar.
‘We and the international community have a grave responsibility to respond to the acute needs of the persecuted Rohingya. We cannot be silent,’ Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland and minister of international development Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a joint statement on the continuing crisis facing the Rohingya people of Myanmar.
They supported the findings of the UN report released on Monday, which concluded that senior officials in the Tatmadaw chain of command should be investigated and prosecuted so that a competent court can determine their responsibility for genocide in relation to the situation in Rakhine state.
They said Canada has demonstrated its continued and strong commitment to protecting the human rights of the Rohingya and other ethnic groups in Myanmar, according to the statement UNB received from Canadian foreign ministry.
In February and June 2018, Canada imposed targeted sanctions on senior military officials as a result of the role they played in the oppression, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya in the violent operations launched in Rakhine state in August 2017.
Since August 2017, the international community has been outraged by the horrific campaign of violence and gross human rights violations in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
The Rohingya people have been subjected to a decades-long campaign of systematic discrimination perpetrated by the Myanmar security forces, including the most repugnant sexual violence which has led to nearly 725,000 Rohingya fleeing the country into Bangladesh.
Without justice, equity and respect for fundamental rights in Myanmar, there can be no peace, said the two Canadian ministers.
With the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the United Nations Development Programme, they said, Canada will continue to advocate for the full and unimpeded access to Rakhine state by the United Nations and international organisations and the voluntary, dignified, safe and sustainable return of refugees.
Canada remains committed to addressing the humanitarian and security crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh, they said.
Since the beginning of 2017, Canada has provided $ 66.1 million for aid partners to deliver lifesaving, assistance for refugees that supports women and girls, displaced people and the communities that are hosting them.
Canada also appointed a special envoy to Myanmar, Bob Rae, whose final report and recommendations led to the development of a comprehensive strategy to meet the needs of those displaced and most vulnerable in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
As part of this strategy, in May 2018, Canada committed $ 300 million over the next three years to support a coordinated response to meet the needs of those displaced and other vulnerable populations, they said.
This was followed by an announcement of nearly $ 3.8 billion by Canada, the European Union, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the World Bank at the G7 Summit for quality education for women and girls living in crisis, conflict-affected and fragile states.
On the question of accountability and impunity, we must ensure that those responsible for the atrocities and human rights violations committed in Rakhine state, including sexual and gender-based violence, are brought to justice, said the two ministers.
They said Canada will continue to work closely with other states, international organisations and partners as well as civil society to hold the perpetrators of international crimes in Myanmar to account, including through the establishment of an international accountability mechanism.
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