Eight allegations of genocide against Myanmar
Published: 01:08 PM, 13 November 2019 Updated: 01:36 PM, 13 November 2019
Gambia has filed a lawsuit on Monday at International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations' top court, accusing Myanmar of committing genocide against its Muslim-minority Rohingya people. In the 46-page application, Gambia has made at least eight specific allegations against Myanmar for violating the Genocide Prevention Charter.
Gambia's statement alleged that the Myanmar government has been involved in atrocities against the Rohingya Muslims, including “killing, causing serious bodily and mental harm, inflicting conditions that are calculated to bring about physical destruction, imposing measures to prevent births, and forcible transfers, are genocidal in character because they are intended to destroy the Rohingya group in whole or in part” in violation of the Genocide Convention.
It said: Myanmar committed genocide violating Article 3 (a) of the Genocide Prevention Charter. Myanmar violated Article 3(b) of the same Charter by conspiring to commit genocide. The country violated Article 3(c) of the Charter by directing to commit genocide and inciting the people.
Other offenses of Myanmar are - taking initiatives to commit genocide or violating Article 3 (d) of the Charter; Assisting to commit genocide, ie, violating Article 3(e) of the Charter; Failed to prevent Genocide (violation of Article no 1); Failed to punish the persons, who committed genocide (violations of Articles no 1, 4 and 5 of the Charter); Failed to ensure stern punishment for genocide and common crime offenders and to implement the article of Genocide Prevention Charter.
In its filing, Gambia asked the ICJ - sometimes known as the world court which normally rules on disputes between states - to implement an injunction to make sure Myanmar immediately "stops atrocities and genocide against its own Rohingya people".
“From around October 2016 the Myanmar military (the “Tatmadaw”) and other Myanmar security forces began widespread and systematic “clearance operations” - the term that Myanmar itself uses - against the Rohingya group. The genocidal acts committed during these operations were intended to destroy the Rohingya as a group, in whole or in part, by the use of mass murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, as well as the systematic destruction by fire of their villages, often with inhabitants locked inside burning houses. From August 2017 onwards, such genocidal acts continued with Myanmar’s resumption of “clearance operations” on a more massive and wider geographical scale,” the Gambia said.
The Gambia's document discusses various evidential sources, said to show the atrocities perpetrated against the Rohingya Muslims, including evidence obtained by several UN mechanisms.
After winning the support of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Gambia, a tiny, mainly Muslim West African nation, filed the case. It is being supported by other Muslim states.
Human rights groups including No Peace Without Justice that have been pushing the international community to act on the Rohingya crisis hailed Gambia's move.
Both Gambia and Myanmar are signatories to the 1948 Genocide Convention, which not only prohibits states from committing genocide but also compels all signatory states to prevent and punish the crime of genocide. Under the rules of the ICJ, the application argues, member states can bring actions against other member states over disputes alleging breaches of international law.
Abubacarr M Tambadou, the Gambia's attorney general and minister of justice, said the action was being taken to "uphold and strengthen the global norm against the genocide that is binding upon all states."