Government extends UN memorandum . . .
Hope for meaningful progress on the issue of Rohingya refugees may be slowly emerging. Earlier this week, the Myanmar government decided to extend the memorandum of understanding (MOU) it signed with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Development Program last June. The MOU includes language on Rohingya citizenship, a central sticking point for refugees amid broader concerns for safety and access to services if they return to Myanmar.
. . . and releases jailed journalists . . .
This move could signal the Myanmar government’s willingness to continue negotiations on the refugee issue. It also coincides with the granting of a presidential amnesty to two Reuters journalists arrested more than a year ago for investigating government atrocities committed against the Rohingya. APF Canada believes these two events could be important signals that the Myanmar government is beginning to take on board the international community’s outrage at the country’s attacks against its Rohingya minority, which the UN has described as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
Canada striving for solutions . . .
Canada has been closely monitoring the Rohingya crisis. Former Liberal Party leader Bob Rae acted as Prime Minister Trudeau’s Special Envoy to Myanmar. Among Rae’s findings, delivered in early 2018, were “strong signals that crimes against humanity were committed” by the Myanmar government. With a motion in the Senate urging Canada to seek repatriation for the Rohingya and to hold Myanmar accountable for its actions, we'd suggest now is an opportune time for Canada to act on Rae’s recommendations.
- Government of Canada: Report of the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Myanmar
- UN News: Release of prize-winning Reuters journalists in Myanmar welcomed by UN
- Prothom Alo: Bangladesh seeks ‘clear roadmap’ over Rohingya repatriation