World court’s four orders against Myanmar
Published: 05:36 PM, 23 January 2020 Updated: 10:11 PM, 23 January 2020
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday has issued four orders against Myanmar to prevent the Rohingya genocide.
The ICJ president Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf has read the interim verdict in Hague, Netherlands - there he accused Myanmar in the case of genocide.
The judicial team comprising 17 judges led byAbdulqawi has given Myanmar four interim orders. The orders are —
- Protect the Rohingyas from all forms of oppression, including genocide.
- Military, paramilitary or any such organization will not take any action or act against the Rohingya to further deteriorate the current situation in Myanmar.
- Do not waste any preserve evidence of genocide.
- Myanmar government has to submit a report in four months on what measures the country has taken to comply with the order and then to report every six months as the case moves slowly through the world court.
In a unanimous ruling by a panel of 17 judges, the court in The Hague ordered Myanmar to carry out emergency, “provisional” measures, intervening in the country’s domestic affairs by instructing the government of Aung San Su Kyi to respect the requirements of the 1948 genocide convention.
Declaring that there was prima facie evidence of breaches of the convention, the court found that the estimated 600,000 Rohingya remaining in Myanmar are “extremely vulnerable” to violence at the hands of the military.
The ruling amounts to a rejection of Aung San Su Kyi’s defence of her country against accusations of systematic human rights abuses and war crimes during a three-day hearing at the ICJ last month.
The case was brought by the Gambia, a predominantly Muslim West African state that alleges Myanmar has breached the genocide convention, which was enacted after the Holocaust.
Although Myanmar’s State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi was present at the hearing of the case last November, she did not appear in court on Thursday. Instead, Union Minister Cho Tint Swe was present.
The complaint is one of the first attempts to use the international justice system to help the estimated 730,000 Rohingya refugees who fled Myanmar following army clearance operations in Rakhine province during 2017.
Lawyers for the Gambia had called on the ICJ to impose protective provisional measures to prevent further killings and destruction in Myanmar. The case was heard by a panel of 17 international judges, including one each nominated by Myanmar and the Gambia.
Six of Myanmar’s most senior army officers have been accused of genocide by a UN fact-finding mission and recommended for criminal prosecution.
However, on Monday, the Independent Commission of Enquiry, a Myanmar government-appointed panel, said it had found no evidence of genocide. Rohingya leaders have branded the probe a “whitewash”.
The ICJ only hears cases brought by one state against another. It has jurisdiction to hear complaints of breaches of the Genocide Convention even if the aggrieved state is not directly affected by violence or refugees.
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