ICJ ruling on Rohingya genocide Jan 23
Published : Thursday, 16 January, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 543
People are waiting to see the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on January 23 on whether emergency measures should be imposed on Myanmar over alleged genocide against the Rohingya Muslims.
Peoples' aspiration has taken up a new momentum on Wednesday when the Gambian government tweeted that the decision is going to come on 23 of this month, Gambian Ministry of Justice announced on Twitter early Wednesday that the ICJ would deliver its decision on Thursday, January 23.
Gambia, the West African small nation had brought a case on November 11in 2019 against Myanmar to the ICJ with the backing of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Canada and the Netherlands.
Gambia alleged that Myanmar had breached the 1948 UN Genocide Convention.
It also said there was a "serious and imminent risk of genocide recurring" and called for emergency measures to prevent Myanmar from committing any further atrocities or erasing any evidence. However, it is not clear how specific the emergency measures would be, but enforcing them would likely prove difficult.
"Chinese President Xi Jinping is schedule to visit Myanmar on January 17, after
two decades, this will be the first visit of any Chinese President to Myanmar, not only that this is Xi's second visit. China is very close to Myanmar and we have also a great partnership with China …we can hope that this visit will focus on Rohingya issues, former Ambassador Muhammad Jamir told the Daily Observer on Wednesday.
He said Bangladesh should start talks with Japan, Russia and India through diplomatic channels for pursuing the issue once again to ensure justice for Rohingyas and expedite the repatriation process.
"We see the Japanese Ambassador in Myanmar denied the genocide allegation. We should focus on the issue that it (Rohingya) is a global crisis and if the repatriation process was delayed time and again than there is the risk of instability breaking out in the South Asian region. We know Russia and India are our friendly countries, so we need to tap it as well as possible," Jamir said.
"We could give them the same message like Gambia, where they mentioned that the persecution should not continue, it should stop for the sake of human rights, democracy and civilization," he added.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch (HRW) deputy Asia director Phil Robertson in a statement said on Wednesday that the wheels of international justice are finally turning as two international courts are now examining whether Myanmar committed genocide and who should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
"Myanmar's failure to hold its military accountable for atrocities against the Rohingya is finally turning the wheels of international justice," he said.
An estimated 745,000 Rohingyas were forced to flee to Bangladesh since then, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The head of a UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar warned last month that 'there is a serious risk of genocide recurring.' The mission also said in its final report in September that Myanmar should be held responsible in international legal forums for alleged genocide against the Rohingyas.
"I hope this decision will favor the destitute Rohingyas and prosecuted small ethnic groups in Myanmar to get back their rights. Although it is a very critical case and it has many discussion points, but we observed that Gambia strongly presented their evidences to prove "genocide" there (Myanmar) and what Myanmar was trying to prove there (ICJ) that it is a political issue, I'm eagerly waiting to see the decision," Former Ambassador Humayun Kabir told this correspondent on Wednesday.
In its first Genocide Convention case, the ICJ imposed provisional measures against Serbia in 1993 and eventually found that Serbia had violated its duty to prevent and punish genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina, according to HRW.
"Both the parties could get a chance to appeal against the decision to the UN Security Council, but one thing is clear that the party should be obliged to enforce the verdict otherwise they (the accused) would face huge economic sanction across the globe," former Ambassador Humayun Kabir said.