The Gambia has taken a laudable step towards ending impunity for those committing atrocities in Myanmar
Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands have expressed their joint intention to intervene in the matter of The Gambia v Myanmar, a contentious case brought by The Gambia against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) alleging violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention).
The Gambia’s application showed the discrimination and persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar, which created the conditions for Myanmar’s security forces to perpetrate targeted and systemic atrocities against the Rohingya.
François-Philippe Champagne, minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, and Stef Blok, minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands issued the joint statement in this regard on Wednesday.
It stated that Myanmar’s violations include the commission of genocide against the Rohingya, mostly by way of the systematic and widespread perpetration of mass murder, sexual violence, torture, forced displacement, and denial of access to food and shelter. These conditions have caused over 850,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh since 2016.
The Genocide Convention embodies the solemn pledge to prevent the crime of genocide and hold those responsible to account.
In bringing this application to the ICJ, The Gambia took a laudable step towards ending impunity for those committing atrocities in Myanmar and upholding this pledge.
Canada and the Netherlands consider it an obligation to support these efforts which are of concern to all of humanity. As part of this intervention, Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands will assist with the complex legal issues that are expected to arise and will pay special attention to crimes related to sexual and gender based violence, including rape, the statement further said.
States Parties to the Genocide Convention must resolve to prevent genocide but also, critically, to hold perpetrators to account.
Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands also reiterated their call to all States Parties to the Genocide Convention to support the Gambia in its efforts to address these violations.
Bangladesh has been hosting over 1.1 million Rohingya refugees in camps in Cox's Bazar.
Of them, more than 730,000 Rohingyas crossed over to Bangladesh in the latest episode of exodus, which began in August 2017, fleeing violent persecution carried out by Myanmar security forces and civilians.