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Five European nations and Canada seek to join genocide case against Myanmar at top UN court

November 18, 2023 | by b1og.net

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Five European nations and Canada seek to join genocide case against Myanmar at top UN court

Five European countries and Canada are seeking to join a case at the United Nations’ highest court that accuses Myanmar of committing genocide against its Rohingya minority. The International Court of Justice has allowed Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK to file a “declaration of intervention in the case,” along with Canada. This move comes after international outrage at the treatment of the Rohingya, who have faced brutal crackdowns by Myanmar forces. The court has already established its jurisdiction, and hearings are yet to be scheduled. Myanmar’s military launched a campaign in 2017 that caused over 700,000 Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh, with Myanmar security forces being accused of mass killings and other atrocities.

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Background

The ongoing genocide against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar has garnered international attention and condemnation. Gambia, a small West African country, has taken the lead in accusing Myanmar of committing genocide against the Rohingya people. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations’ highest court, has approved its jurisdiction over the case. This decision clears the path for legal proceedings to determine whether Myanmar is culpable for these grave human rights violations.

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Countries Joining the Case

Several countries have decided to join Gambia in its pursuit of justice for the Rohingya people. Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Canada have all filed a “declaration of intervention in the case” alongside Gambia. Additionally, the Maldives has filed a separate declaration. These countries will have the opportunity to present legal arguments in the case and lend their support to Gambia’s cause.

Declaration of Intervention

By filing a “declaration of intervention,” the countries joining the case have been granted the right to participate in the proceedings and make their legal arguments. This involvement demonstrates their commitment to seeking justice for the Rohingya minority and holding Myanmar accountable for its alleged crimes.

Case Details

Gambia’s primary argument is that Myanmar has breached the 1948 convention outlawing genocide, to which both countries are parties. The convention imposes a duty upon all signatories to ensure its enforcement and prevent genocide. Gambia is urging the ICJ to declare Myanmar in violation of this convention. While the court has already accepted jurisdiction over the case, no hearings have been scheduled as of yet.

Myanmar’s Clearance Campaign

The Rohingya crisis began in 2017 when Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown in Rakhine state, claiming it was a “clearance campaign.” This military operation resulted in over 700,000 Rohingya people fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh to escape the violence. The Myanmar military has faced serious accusations of carrying out mass rapes, killings, and the deliberate burning of Rohingya homes. These actions have been widely condemned by the international community and have prompted calls for justice.

Myanmar’s Attempt to Throw Out the Case

Myanmar’s government has tried to dismiss the genocide case brought by Gambia, asserting that only disputes between nations can be heard by the ICJ. Additionally, Myanmar argued that Gambia was acting on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and did not have direct standing in the case. However, the ICJ judges rejected these claims, allowing the proceedings to move forward. This ruling signifies that the court recognizes Gambia’s right to file the case and pursue justice for the Rohingya people.

Difference Between International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court

It is essential to understand the distinction between the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). While both are based in The Hague, their mandates differ significantly. The ICJ resolves disputes between states, such as the genocide case against Myanmar. On the other hand, the ICC holds individuals accountable for atrocities, investigating and prosecuting those responsible for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide.

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Importance of the Genocide Case

The genocide case against Myanmar holds significant implications for seeking justice and accountability for the Rohingya minority. By bringing this case before the ICJ, Gambia and the countries joining the case are seeking to establish a legal precedent in cases of genocide. It is crucial to address these horrific crimes and ensure that those responsible are held accountable for their actions. This case represents an opportunity to shed light on the plight of the Rohingya people and seek redress for the violence and suffering they have endured.

Implications for Myanmar

If Myanmar is found guilty of committing genocide against the Rohingya minority, the country may face severe international condemnation. Such a ruling could lead to a range of diplomatic and economic consequences, including sanctions or restrictions on trade and foreign aid. The international community has a responsibility to ensure that genocide does not go unpunished, and if Myanmar is found guilty, the consequences may be significant.

Next Steps

The case against Myanmar is currently in its early stages, and specific legal proceedings are yet to be scheduled. The next steps would involve the scheduling of hearings where legal arguments will be presented by Gambia and the countries that have joined the case. These arguments will further establish the evidence and allegations against Myanmar, contributing to a comprehensive examination of the Rohingya genocide. The international community will be eagerly watching as this important case unfolds in the International Court of Justice.

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