South Asians for Human Rights

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File photo: Unidentified men carry knives and slingshots as they walk past a burning house in Gawdu Tharya village near Maungdaw in Rakhine state, in northern Myanmar on September 7, 2017 AFP

Officials from Bangladesh are expected to be present during the issuance of the order, among others

The eyes of the Rohingya community, Bangladesh, Myanmar and the rest of the world are on the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial of the UN, as it delivers its order on Thursday on the request for the indication of provisional measures made by The Gambia in the case filed against Myanmar for allegedly violating the genocide convention.

Many believe that the whole scenario with respect to the ongoing Rohingya crisis could be changed for better if the world’s top court, based in the Dutch capital The Hague, accepted The Gambian request for six provisional measures either fully or partially. The ICJ rulings are binding on the member states.

Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, president of the ICJ, will read out the order in a public sitting at the Peace Palace that houses the court at 10am local time (3pm BST).

Officials from Bangladesh are expected to be present during the issuance of the order, among others.

File photo: Navanethem Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, speaks during a hearing in a case filed by Gambia against Myanmar alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya population, at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands December 10, 2019 | Reuters

On November 11, The Gambia, a West African nation with a Muslim majority, filed the case with the ICJ against Myanmar on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC). The Gambia is the chair of the ad hoc ministerial committee on accountability for human rights violations against the Rohingya that was established at the 45th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting in Dhaka over May 5 to 6, 2018.

Filing the case, the Attorney General and Justice Minister of The Gambia, Abubacarr Marie Tambadou, also asked the ICJ to impose provisional measures, as a matter of extreme urgency, to protect the Rohingya against further harm by ordering Myanmar to stop all of its genocidal conducts immediately.

ICJ held hearing on the provisional measures requested by The Gambia from December 10 to 12.

Tambadou led The Gambia in the hearings while the Myanmar side was headed by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto head of the government, in the capacity of the foreign minister.

The Gambia argued that there are compelling evidences that genocide in Rakhine has occurred and occurring and is likely to take place in the future while Myanmar denied such accusations although it acknowledged some instances of disproportionate force during the military operations.

The Gambia asked for six provisional measures to be ordered by the court, including a halt to acts with genocidal intent by Myanmar and crucially granting of access to, and cooperation with, all UN fact-finding bodies that are engaged in investigating alleged genocidal acts against the Rohingya.

Myanmar continues to deny access of all international stakeholders, including that of the UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar.

On the other hand, Myanmar has asked the court to remove the case from its list or alternatively to reject the request for the indication of provisional measures.

According to experts familiar with the activities of the ICJ, the world court either accept all the provisional measures or agree to some of them or reject all.

Foreign Minister Abdul Momen told Dhaka Tribune earlier that he expected to have some good news from The Hague.


Updated On: January 23rd, 2020