Genocide: ICJ directs Myanmar to protect Muslims, submit report

Bangkok — While the world silently watched Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims genocide at the hands of Military clampdown, Millions were slaughtered, brutally killed, raped, forced to run for their lives, take refugee in other countries, the world finally seems to have woken up against these atrocities.

Rejecting the arguments made by Myanmar’s civilian leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled that Myanmar must take action to protect Rohingya Muslims, who have been killed and driven from their homes in what the country’s accusers call a campaign of genocide this Thursday, The New York Times reported.

The  International Court of Justice said Myanmar must “take all measures within its power” to prevent its military or others from carrying out genocidal acts against the Rohingya, who the court said faced “real and imminent risk.”

The Court also essentially put Myanmar under the court’s oversight, directing it to submit regular reports to the tribunal explaining what further steps the country had taken since the order.

This is the first- ever decision where the international court ruled against Myanmar over its military’s brutal genocide of the Rohingyas.

While the court has no enforcement power, any member of the United Nations can request action from the Security Council based on its rulings.

“The chances of Aung San Suu Kyi implementing this ruling will be zero unless significant international pressure is applied,” said Anna Roberts, executive director of the rights group Burma Campaign UK.

According to sources, the nation of Gambia has addressed the case to the tribunal in the month of November on behalf of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

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Gambia nation’s legal team urged the top international justice court to condemn Myanmar for violating the Genocide Convention and asked for more immediate action: a temporary injunction ordering Myanmar to halt all actions that could make the Rohingya’s situation worse, including further extrajudicial killings, rape, hate speech or leveling of homes owned by Rohingyas.

Ruling in Gambia’s favor on Thursday, the court did not give Myanmar any specific instructions for ensuring the Rohingya’s safety but the court said the country must ensure that no more acts of genocide including killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm, or deliberately imposing conditions meant to destruct the Rohingya population.

The international court of Justice headed by Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia also directed Myanmar to report back within four months explaining the steps it has taken, to preserve evidence relevant to the genocide case, and also to submit further reports to the court every six months.

The 2017 military clampdown known as Tatmadaw, that committed Rohingya genocide in the western state of Rakhine forced more than 700,000 to flee to neighboring Bangladesh while mass murdered thousands.

According to sources, about half a million Rohingya are still in Myanmar,  including about 100,000 people who were forced from their homes.

Responding to ruling, a military spokesman Gen. Myat Kyaw, said: “We will take action in accordance with the military judicial framework if there is a war crime,” he said.

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“What the Tatmadaw did was a just war. If individuals violated the law, we will take action by the military court.”

Independent Commission of Enquiry- a panel appointed by Myanmar’s government found the war crimes did take place in 2017 earlier this week but refused of any ‘genocide intent’ in the military actions while stated the military’s action was in response to rebel attacks.

“War crimes, serious human rights violations, and violations of domestic law took place during the security operations,” the commission said in its report summary released on Tuesday.

Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, had traveled to the Hague in December to speak on Myanmar’s behalf at the hearings.

At the hearings, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi heard gruesome accounts of summary executions, babies thrown to their deaths, mass rapes and whole villages burned to the ground. When it was her turn to speak, she did not directly address those accusations, but told the court, “Genocidal intent cannot be the only hypothesis.”

She also said Gambia’s case against Myanmar was “precariously dependent on statements by refugees in camps in Bangladesh,” who she said, “may have provided inaccurate or exaggerated information.”

Surprisingly individuals in the country still support her and organize rallies to support Ms Suu kyi.

“The military who committed the crimes should thank her,” said Ko Win Hlaing, a taxi driver who helped organize a rally to support Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi.

“You might see the critics of Aung San Suu Kyi on Twitter because international communities are mostly on Twitter,” he added.

“But on Facebook, most people support her and I’m sure her party will win again in coming elections. I feel that she is the real mother of our country.”

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