OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says seven Myanmar military leaders have been added to Canada’s sanctions list for their role in the Rohingya crisis.
Freeland says the sanctions are a result of the significant role played by senior military officials in the brutal violence and persecution against the Rohingya communities in Myanmar, which has forced more than 720,000 of them to flee their homes.
The same individuals have also been placed under sanctions by the European Union.
Under Canadian law, the sanctions freeze the assets of the people involved and prohibit most business dealings with them.
Canada earlier announced sanctions against Maj.-Gen. Maung Maung Soe, who was described as a senior officer who played a significant role in the Rohingya persecutions.
Canada has also been contributing to relief efforts to help refugees who have fled persecution in Myanmar.
Freeland said the international community cannot be silent over the events in that country.
“This is ethnic cleansing,” she said in a statement. “These are crimes against humanity.”
The latest sanctions against military leaders follow a recommendation from Bob Rae, who served as Canada’s special envoy for the Rohingya crisis.
In his final report in May, Rae not only called for sanctions, but said Canada should consider granting refugee and resettlement status to Rohingya refugees.
He also urged more money for the crisis and said Canada should play a leading role in the war-crimes investigation by the International Criminal Court.
The Canadian Press