(Image: Rohingya refugees are trying to reach Bangladesh's border on foot. Photo: Reuters / Mohammad Ponir Hossain)
Several non-governmental organizations and several human rights groups are calling for Canada's intervention to end the persecution of the Muslim minority in Myanmar, where one million people face what many describe as genocide.
Meeting in Toronto, representatives of these NGOs and advocacy groups called on Canada to take leadership on the international scene in an attempt to resolve the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. "With what is happening with the Trump administration in the United States and Brexit in Britain, Canada can seize this opportunity to call for an end to violence and to protect Rohingya rights , " said Ahmed Ramadan of Burma Group. Task Force.
It was Dr. Aliya Khan of MacMaster University in Hamilton who organized the "Moral Duty" conference. It recalls that priority should first be given to strengthening humanitarian assistance to the refugee camps in Bangladesh and the Burmese province of Rakhine, where the majority of refugees have come since 2012.
Dr. Khan admits, however, that the province is closed to foreigners, but she is asking the Yangon regime to provide relief. "Satellite images show that the Rohingya villages have been burned and their land confiscated, the refugees' reports of rape, beheadings and summary executions," she lamented.
The situation is all the more critical according to these NGOs as Bangladesh plans to send thousands of refugees back to their country. Yangon and Dhaka have recently signed an agreement to allow them to return to model villages that the Burmese authorities have built in their province since 2012. According to Mr. Ramadan, these villages have 120,000 people left to their own devices. He speaks of a "new genocide, but in the drip".