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Gambia set to sue Myanmar in the ICJ for Rohingya genocide

  • Published at 08:10 pm October 20th, 2019
Aerial view of a burned Rohingya village near Maungdaw, north of Rakhine state, Myanmar on September 27, 2017
Aerial view of a burned Rohingya village near Maungdaw, north of Rakhine state, Myanmar on September 27, 2017 Reuters

Crimes committed against the Rohingya people illustrate the failure of the international community to prevent genocide, says Tambadou

Gambia is all set to take Myanmar to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to face charges of genocide against its Rohingya minority.

The charges which will be filed by the Gambian Ministry of Justice’s legal team, will be the first time the Myanmar authorities will be formally accused of the crime of genocide at the International Court of Justice, said a press release on Sunday.

“I can confirm that on October 4th, I instructed our lawyers to file the case at the International Court of Justice,” Gambia’s Attorney General and Minister for Justice Abubacarr Marie Tambadou announced, at a conclave on Justice and Accountability for the Rohingya.

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The Conclave on Justice and Accountability for the Rohingya was co-convened by the Asia Justice Coalition and the Centre of Peace and Justice at BRAC University in Dhaka on Friday. 

“I could smell the stench of genocide from miles away when I visited the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar. It was all too familiar for me, after a decade of interacting with the victims of the Rwandan mass rapes, killings, and genocide,” he told participants at the conclave.

Tambadou previously served as a special assistant to the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

He also said the crimes committed against the Rohingya people illustrate the failure of the international community to prevent genocide, 75 years after it committed itself to the promise of “never again” at the Nuremberg Trials.

File photo: Rohingya refugees stretch their hands to receive aid distributed by local organisations at Balukhali makeshift refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, September 14, 2017 | ReutersThe Conclave was hosted at The Hague by the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University.

Speakers at the Conclave included Bob Rae, Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, who affirmed the need to hold Myanmar accountable for crimes against the Rohingya.

More than 100 participants took part in the Conclave, including senior government officials, leading international human rights lawyers, human rights activists, and leaders of the Rohingya community, to discuss issues of justice and accountability for the crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingya.

The Asia Justice Coalition, a co-convener of the Conclave, is a network of organisations promoting justice and accountability for gross violations of international human rights laws in Asia. Member organisations of the Asia Coalition include the Burmese Rohingya Organisation, Centre for Peace and Justice, Asia Justice and Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Commission of Jurists.

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