ICJ to deliver Court Order on Gambia-Myanmar Case

EYEAFRICA TV: Hague, The Netherlands: The International Court of Justice will deliver its Order on the case brought before the court by the Republic of The Gambia against Myanmar on the request for the indication of provisional measures to protect the Rohingya Muslims.

The Court is expected to deliver its Order in The Hague this Thursday, 23 January. A public sitting will take place at 10 a.m. at the Peace Palace in The Hague, during which Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, President of the Court, will read the Court’s Order.

The Gambia requested from the ICJ during a hearing between December 10 – 12 in 2019 for the court in “Pursuant to Article 41 of the Statute of the Court, as a matter of extreme urgency, to indicate the following provisional measures, which are directly linked to the rights that form the subject matter of the dispute, pending its determination of this case on the merits.”

Its demands include Myanmar to immediately, in pursuance of its undertaking in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 9 December 1948, take all measures within its power to prevent all acts that amount to or contribute to the crime of genocide.

The country also requested that Myanmar ensure that any military, paramilitary or irregular armed units which may be directed or supported by it, as well as any organizations and persons which may be subject to its control, direction or influence, do not commit any act of genocide, of conspiracy to commit genocide, or direct and public incitement to commit genocide, or of complicity in genocide, against the Rohingya group.

It also requested for Myanmar not to destroy or render inaccessible any evidence related to the events described in the Application, including without limitation by destroying or rendering inaccessible the remains of any member of the Rohingya group who is a victim of alleged genocidal acts, or altering the physical locations where such acts are alleged to have occurred in such a manner as to render the evidence of such acts, if any, inaccessible.

Gambia’s Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Abubacarr M Tambedou December led the country’s legal team to The Hague, where he reiterated Gambia’s position of demanding for justice for the Rohingya minority in Myanmar before the court’s judges.

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.”

The Gambia also asked the court that Myanmar and The Gambia shall not take any action and shall assure that no action is taken which may aggravate or extend the existing dispute that is the subject of this Application, or render it more difficult of resolution; and for both countries to provide a report to the Court on all measures taken to give effect to this Order for provisional measures, no later than four months from its issuance.

It also requested that Myanmar grant access to, and cooperates with, all United Nations fact-finding bodies that are engaged in investigating alleged genocidal acts against the Rohingya, including the conditions to which the Rohingya are subjected.”

But Myanmar had requested that the court “In accordance with Article 60, paragraph 2, of the Rules of Court, for the reasons given during the hearing and any other reasons the Court might deem appropriate, to remove the case from its List; or in the alternative, to reject the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by The Gambia.”

Noble Peace Prize Laureate and Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has recently defended her government against charges of genocide at the Court.

Speaking before judges at Hague Tribunal on Wednesday, Suu Kyi described the case of alleged atrocities against the Rohingya minority in Rakhine state filed by the government of the Gambia as regrettable, noting that the allegations place before the court are incomplete and misleading facts of the situation in Rakhine state in Myanmar.

Ms. Aung San Su Kyi added that it is of utmost importance that the court assess the situation obtained on the ground in Rakhine dispassionately and accurately. The Myanmar State Counsellor admitted the disproportionate use of force by the Army cannot but stressed that “such conduct, if proven, could be relevant under the International Humanitarian Law or Human Rights Convictions, but not under the 1948 genocide convention”.

She stated that in 2017 Rohingya militants carried out a series of attacks against Myanmar security forces, killing 12 Police officers. It triggered a crackdown by the Myanmar’s Military, with widespread reports of indiscriminate killings, arson, looting and rape. Which resulted to more than 730,000 Rohingya fled the country.

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