Gambia to file case against Myanmar for genocide
Published : Monday, 21 October, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 801
The government of Gambia has decided to take Myanmar to the International Court of Justice to face charges of genocide against its Rohingya minority.
With the submission of charges, which will be filed by the Gambian Ministry of Justice, for the first time the Myanmar authorities will be accused of the crimes of genocide at the International Court of Justice, a release of the Centre for Peace and Justice of BRAC University said.
It said that Gambia's Attorney General and Minister for Justice Abubacarr Marie Tambadou had given the announcement at a conclave on Justice and Accountability for the Rohingya in Hague on October 18.
"I can confirm that on October 4 I instructed our lawyers to file the case at the InternationalCourt of Justice," Abubacarr M. Tambadou told participants at the 18 October Conclave.
He said, "I could smell the stench of genocide from miles away when I visited the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox's Bazar. It was all too familiar for me, after a decade of interacting with the victims of the Rwandan mass rapes, killings and genocide."
Tambadou previously served as a special assistant to the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
The crimes committed against the Rohingya people, illustrate the failure of the international community to prevent genocide, 75 years after it committed itself to the promise of 'never again' at the Nuremberg Trials, he added.
The Conclave on Justice and Accountability for the Rohingya held on 18 October 2019 was co-convened by the Asia Justice Coalition and the Centre of Peace and Justice at BRAC University in Dhaka.
It was hosted by the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University.
Speakers at the conclave included Bob Rae, Canada's Special Envoy to Myanmar, who affirmed the need to hold Myanmar accountable for crimes against the Rohingya.
More than 100 participants took part in the conclave, including senior government officials, leading international human rights lawyers, human rights activists, and leaders of the Rohingya community to discuss issues of justice and accountability for the crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingya.
The Asia Justice Coalition, a co-convener of the conclave, is a network of organisations promoting justice and accountability for gross violations of international human rights law in Asia.
Member organisations of the Asia Coalition include Burmese Rohingya Organisation, Centre for Peace and Justice, Asia Justice and Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists.