Without sanctions, the human rights violations will go on
The actions of Myanmar’s military against its own Rohingya population have resulted in what may well be the worst humanitarian catastrophe of our time. Yet, for the most part, the world has been curiously silent. Even after undisputed proof emerged of ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine state, the world community found it impossible to go beyond mere words.
But with a regime like Myanmar, words will no longer do. Action is needed. Without sanctions, the human rights violations will go on as before. The recent coup witnessed by the country, with Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest, changes very little with regard to the Rohingya crisis, as the military has always held the cards.
It gives hope to see that Fortify Rights and 136 other humanitarian organizations have sent an open letter to the United Nations Security Council, saying it should “institute a coordinated global arms embargo” on the Myanmar military, as it “poses a demonstrable threat to international peace and security.”
Indeed, with organizations from 31 countries signing the letter, including many Myanmar-led organizations as well as Rohingya-led bodies, this letter is a picture of cooperation that cuts across national borders and ethnic identities. This is not a matter to be politicized, and this is not a time to take sides when it comes to the players in government: This is a time to unite and ensure human rights, peace, and security.
The Rohingya crisis needs to be brought to an end, but that can only happen when Myanmar is made to answer for its crimes. For that to happen, the world must get tough on the regime.