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Myanmar must ‘stop this genocide’ of Rohingyas, Gambia tells UN court

Picture credit: Reuters News Agency
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Gambia’s case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice began on Tuesday.

Picture credit: Reuters News Agency

Gambia has asked the UN’s top court Tuesday to order Myanmar to “stop this genocide” of the Rohingya Muslim minority.

The hearing which began on December 10 was attended by Myanmar’s former peace icon Aung San Suu Kyi. Myanmar is expected to respond to Gambia’s allegations on Wednesday.

“All that The Gambia asks is that you tell Myanmar to stop these senseless killings, to stop these acts of barbarity that continue to shock our collective conscience, to stop this genocide of its own people,” Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou told judges.

The international community’s failure to act over allegations of genocide perpetrated by Myanmar’s military against the Rohingya people is a “stain on the collective conscience” of the world, said Tambadou.

“I stand before you to awaken the conscience of the world and arouse the voice of the international community. In the words of Edmund Burke, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing’,” added Tambadou.

The Gambia is represented in the case by an American law firm Foley Hoag. The case is financed by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Meanwhile, an American human rights lawyer, Reed Brody, has told The Monitor that Gambia’s case will help to increase international pressure on Myanmar.

“The case filed by Gambia will help increase the international pressure on the Myanmar government to take concrete actions to improve the situation, and could lead to a judicial determination of Myanmar’s responsibility for the crime of genocide, including its duty to prevent and punish the crime,” said Brody.

Gambia and Myanmar are state parties to the Genocide Convention which provides obligations to be fulfilled including protection and punishment for genocide.

Gambia is asking the court to order provisional measures to protect the rights of ethnic Rohingya under the United Nations Genocide Convention.

 

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