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Rohingya demonstration in downtown London, Ont. calls on Canadian government to do more to stop genocide

Members of London, Ont.'s Rohingya-Canadian community demonstrate at Victoria Park against genocide in Myanmar on May 25, 2024. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News London) Members of London, Ont.'s Rohingya-Canadian community demonstrate at Victoria Park against genocide in Myanmar on May 25, 2024. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News London)
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Approximately 100 members of London’s Rohingya-Canadian community demonstrated at Victoria Park in London Saturday, trying to bring awareness to what they said is a second wave of genocide on Rohingyas in Myanmar.

They also want Canada to play a greater role in condemning the violence against Rohingyas, said demonstration organizer Anwar Arkani.

“Canada is the first country to recognize the Rohingya crisis as genocide, in 2019,” explained Arkani. “So after that, nothing much happened. We want the government to be aware of what is going on right now.”

In October 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Canadian diplomat Bob Rae as a special envoy to Myanmar. The appointment followed violence by Buddhist extremists against their Muslim neighbours, the Rohingya.

Rae issued a report on the crisis, which led Canada to launch a strategy in 2018.

According to the Government of Canada, In February 2021, a military coup d’état deposed the democratically elected civilian government in Myanmar, with the event triggering a nationwide humanitarian crisis.

Canada’s strategy for the Rohingya crisis expired on March 31 of this year.

Arkani told CTV News London Rohingya-Canadians want to see it renewed.

“I would also like to see my government [Canadian government] spearhead the way they did in 2017 and 2019, to move forward, to highlight the issue, the UN at [the] international level is the only hope we have, because we do not have an armed group fighting against the government to save 30 million Rohingya,” he said.

According to Arkani, there are approximately 30 Rohingya families currently living in London.

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