ICJ decision on Rohingya genocide tomorrow
Published : Wednesday, 22 January, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 120
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will deliver its decision tomorrow (January 23) whether it will impose provisional measures to protect the Rohingyas against further harm by ordering Myanmar to stop all its genocidal conducts immediately.
Prior to the decision, the Myanmar government on Tuesday made a report public on the issue saying that there are reasons to believe that security forces committed war crimes in counter-insurgency operations that led to more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.
The hearings on the provisional measures took place from December 10 to12 at the ICJ based in The Hague, Netherlands. Bangladesh sent its top diplomats to oversee the hearing, filed by the Gambian government, as an observer.
"The main hearing against Myanmar is still pending, however, it would take 4 to 5 years to complete the case, we are waiting for the verdict of the court. Right at the moment we don't have any further information in this regard," a senior official of the Foreign Ministry told the Daily Observer on Tuesday.
He said there are some legal provisions, our main focus is to repatriate the Rohingyas first as soon as possible, if we get favour from this court the next course of action would be easier to us, we are waiting for that.
"ICJ can give any decision against the Gambian
demand to impose emergency measures on Myanmar over alleged genocide against the Rohingya Muslims, it absolutely depends upon the Court, we can hope to get the decision in our favour," the senior official said.
The court will also say when it will start the hearing of the main case tomorrow, he added.
Three separate cases were filed against Myanmar for atrocities against Rohingya people in the first international legal attempts to bring justice to the persecuted Muslim minority.
Gambia brought a genocide case against Myanmar on November 11in 2019 in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), urging the UN court to order measures to immediately stop atrocities and genocide against its own Rohingya people.
On November 14 in 2019, the ICC had launched an investigation into Rohingya prosecution, while a separate lawsuit was filed against Myanmar's de facto ruler Aung San Suu Kyi in an Argentine court.
An UN report released in 2018 called for the military leaders to be investigated for genocide and war crimes in Rakhine State.
"The three cases are complementary but can be distinguished on the basis of the crimes they charge Myanmar with, the identity of the accused and the remedies the courts can order. Each court offers distinct advantages," the Foreign Ministry official said.
Meanwhile, an independent commission established by Myanmar government, headed by a Philippine diplomat, said in a report given Monday to President Win Myint that there is no evidence supporting charges that genocide was planned or carried out against the Rohingyas.
Earlier, the Japanese Ambassador in Myanmar said that there is no sign of genocide.
The enquiry announced its findings in a statement posted on its Facebook page and the full report does not appear to have been publicly released. But it said 'although these serious crimes and violations were committed by multiple actors, there are reasonable grounds to believe that members of Myanmar's security forces were involved' in war crimes, serious human rights violations, and violations of domestic law in 2017, it said.
Rohingya crisis once again exploded in August 2017 when Myanmar's military launched what it called a clearance campaign in northern Rakhine State in response to an attack by a Rohingya insurgent group. The campaign forced more than 704,000 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh and led to accusations that security forces committed mass rapes, killings and burned thousands of homes.
In addition to finding a basis for wrongdoing by security forces, the statement said the report also points out that the security forces acted in response to deadly attacks organized by Rohingya guerrillas belonging to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).
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).
"I hope this decision wills favour 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 the Myanmar was trying to prove there (ICJ Court) that it is a political issue, I'm eagerly waiting to see the decision," Former Ambassador Humayun Kabir said earlier.