Myanmar must comply with ICJ orders
At long last, the UN's top court International Court of Justice (ICJ) stepped into the world's latest human crisis relating to Rohingya persecution by ordering Myanmar on Thursday, to take urgent measures to prevent the genocide of Rohingya Muslims and protect its Rohingya population from atrocities. Unquestionably, ICJ's order is a boon to over a million Rohingya refugees who have been sheltered by Bangladesh government in camps in Cox's Bazar. However, now we expect Myanmar to comply with ICJ orders, if the country sincerely intends to put an end to this manmade crisis. The country will have to run the extra mile to ensure justice in this regard.
The presiding judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf has clearly pointed out that "the court was of the opinion that the Rohingya in Myanmar remain extremely vulnerable" and needed to be protected from further bloodshed. Thousands are suspected to have been killed in the crackdown and refugees brought widespread reports of rape and arson by Myanmar's military and local Buddhist militias. Moreover, the court ordered Myanmar to "take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts" described by the 1948 UN Genocide Convention, under which Gambia had launched the case.
The ball is evidently in Myanmar's court, and it should play it not only for the sake of ensuring justice for the persecuted Muslim minority community but also to stabilize geopolitical tensions in the region.
Thursday has been a historic day, not just for international law but also for the international community, and especially for the Rohingya community. The point here, as much as it is crucially important for Myanmar to follow and implement ICJ orders - the international community has an equal role to play as well. The international community must now firsthand inspect whether Myanmar is acting or not. If need be, the community must put pressure on Myanmar while imposing sanctions. Needs be mentioned, The ICJ's orders are binding but it has no power to enforce them, understandably, possibilities to defy ICJ orders also remains.
The Rohingya crisis has come a long way negatively impacting Asian geopolitics and particularly wreaking havoc on Bangladesh in particular. From economic, environmental and security perspectives, Myanmar's internal manmade crisis has forced Bangladesh to pay a high price which is not fair on any count. Last Thursday's ICJ's orders also carried a valuable message to Myanmar's ruling class and its military establishment: The world will not tolerate their atrocities.