Thursday, July 18, 2024
 
 

UN court tells Myanmar to prevent Rohingya genocide

EPA-EFE/ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN
President of the International Court of Justice, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (4-R), ruled in the lawsuit filed by The Gambia against Myanmar, during a court session in The Hague, The Netherlands, 23 January 2020. That country is accused of genocide because of the persecution of a Muslim minority in the country.

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After overwhelming evidence showed that Myanmar’s government intentionally targeted its Rohingya Muslim minority, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ordered the Burmese government to stop its genocidal campaign against the Rohingyas.
Myanmar has for years rejected all claims that it has tried to exterminate the Rohingyas. In 2017 alone, some 740,000 Rohingyas were forced to flee into camps in Bangladesh.
The now-disgraced Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader, has herself been accused of overseeing the genocide against Rohingyas, defended her country in court, saying that Myanmar was defending itself against attacks by Muslim militant groups.
The 17-judge panel in The Hague said its order for provisional measures is intended to protect the Rohingya and is binding, meaning it creates international legal obligations that must be followed by the Burmese government.
This is the third genocide case filed at the court since World War II. A motion to protect the Rohingyas from an extermination campaign was first launched in November when the Gambia accused Myanmar of breaching the 1948 Genocide Convention. The Gambia asked the court for emergency measures to stop Myanmar’s “ongoing genocidal actions”.
The decision was been hailed by human rights activists as well as Rohingyas living in camps in Bangladesh. They do not, however, believe that Myanmar will comply.
“The ICJ orders for Myanmar to take concrete steps to prevent the genocide of the Rohingya is a landmark step to stop further atrocities against one of the world’s most persecuted people. Concerned governments and UN bodies should now weigh in to ensure that the order is enforced as the genocide case moves forward”, said Param-Preet Singh, associate international justice director of rights agency Human Rights Watch.
The court’s ruling came two days after an independent commission established by Myanmar’s government concluded there were probably war crimes but there was no genocide.
Myanmar’s legal team did not immediately comment on the court’s decision. The country’s foreign ministry later repeated its assertion that there has been no genocide against the country’s Rohingya population.

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