By Buba Gagigo
Essa Faal, the former lead counsel for The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission, has revealed to Kerr Fatou, that he has been appointed to lead investigations into and prosecute those responsible for the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar.
For decades, the Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim minority group in Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country, have faced institutionalized discrimination, such as exclusionary citizenship laws. The Myanmar government launched a military campaign in 2017 that forced seven hundred thousand Rohingya to flee.
In November 2019, Gambia, with the backing of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), filed a case, The Gambia v. Myanmar, before the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The case alleged that Myanmar’s atrocities against the ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine State violated various provisions of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention).
The former lead counsel of the TRRC, Essa Faal told Kerr Fatou, “My appointment is to lead the investigations and prosecute the person who is responsible for the genocide that Gambia is complaining about at the International Court of Justice. So it’s two cases. The case that Gambia took to the International Court of Justice, as a result of which the ICC decided to investigate. The ICC has given me that case to lead the investigation and the prosecution. So I am doing this case because this is a continuation of keeping the Gambian flag flying high in the international community. I think one of the biggest achievements of the Barrow government is to take that case to the ICC.”