Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Suu Kyi to defend Myanmar against genocide charge

Photo: AP

DHAKA: Myanmar’s government vowed to defend the country from allegations of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In a statement on its official Facebook page, Myanmar’s State Counsellor’s Office said State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi will lead a delegation to the court next month.

“The State Counsellor, in her capacity as Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, will lead a team to The Hague, Netherlands, to defend the national interest of Myanmar at the ICJ,” it said.

“Myanmar has retained prominent international lawyers to contest the case submitted by Gambia,” it added, referring to a genocide lawsuit filed this month by the West African country at the ICJ over Myanmar’s treatment of its minority Rohingya Muslim community.

The brief statement did not specify that Gambia’s application to the ICJ involved genocide.

“Gambia, on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has submitted an application to the ICJ with regard to displaced persons from Rakhine State,” the statement said.

It did, however, acknowledge the country’s obligations as a UN member state.

“Under the Charter of the United Nations, all members of the UN, including Myanmar, are bound by the statue of the ICJ.”

In a statement on Nov. 11, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) termed Gambia’s move as the first judicial scrutiny of Myanmar’s campaign of murder, rape, arson and other atrocities against Rohingya Muslims.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017, pushing the number of persecuted people in Bangladesh above 1.2 million.

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