EYEAFRICA TV: Hague, The Netherlands: Gambia has maintained a strong position in its genocide allegation case before The Hague based International Court of Justice, against the government of Myanmar for its military’s atrocities in Rakhine State against Rohingya Muslims.
In the case, the tiny West African state is seeking justice for the Rohingya people for what it call Myanmar’s violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, accusing former Burma of committing gross human right violations on the Rohingya Muslim in Rakhine estate.
Gambia’s Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Abubacarr M Tambedou is leading the country’s legal team in Hague. In the second round of observations before the court’s judges on the third day of hearings, Mr Tambedou reiterated Gambia’s position of demanding for justice for the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.
On November 11, Gambia, with the backing of the 57 members of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), filed a case with the court alleging that the Myanmar military’s atrocities in Rakhine State against Rohingya Muslims violate the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. On November 20, Myanmar recognized being bound by the ICJ Statute and announced that its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, would lead the delegation to “defend the national interest of Myanmar.”
In its filing, The Gambia request the court to implement an injunction to make sure Myanmar immediately stop ‘atrocities’ and ‘genocide’ actions against its own Rohingya people.
Professor Phillipe Sand, a member of Gambia’s legal team told Judges that Myanmar has no grounds in its claims that Gambia has no legal interest in the question whether Myanmar is treating its citizens in accordance with the requirements of the 1948 Convention.
He said if the court wishes, it can rule that Gambia has no legal interest in the case, but if it chooses to take that approach, it will put the court in an incomparable wilderness, given the fact that the overwhelming majority of the members of the United Nations have endorsed reports of its fact finding mission.
The British and French lawyer also indicted that all of Myanmar’s council members failed to address the obligations on Myanmar to prevent genocide under Article 1 of the court provision, noting that Myanmar is not only under the obligation not to commit genocide but also to prevent it.
Story written by Amadou Kanteh