Bob Rae on the Rohingya Crisis
Bob Rae, one of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights’ Senior Fellows, is Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, a country whose military has committed horrific crimes against the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.
In April, Rae released a report, Tell Them We’re Human, on the gravity of the Rohingya crisis, calling on the Canadian government to welcome Rohingya refugees, to supply humanitarian aid, and to enforce sanctions on Myanmar government officials.
In August, after the UN Human Rights Council released a report following a six-month “fact-finding mission” – which detailed accounts of horrors too horrific to be believed, but not too horrific to have happened – Rae spoke with CTV News Channel, underscoring the “significant opportunity for Canada to have a role, provided we’re prepared to meet our own obligations, which is something the government is very committed to doing”.
Rae continued: “Clearly [Myanmar’s government was] not able to protect the Rohingya minority. Even worse, there has been up until now, no real attempt by Aung San Suu Kyi or other members of her government to describe what happened and to make it clear that what took place is completely unacceptable.” Rae’s comments were supported by the UN report, which claimed that Suu Kyi failed to use her “moral authority” and power as head of government to intervene and protect the Rohingya. Suu Kyi’s moral failings come after she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her non-violent struggle for human rights and democracy.