EYEAFRICA TV: New York: United States: United Nations said Myanmar have rejected a resolution adopted at its general assembly in New York on Friday, condemning human rights abuses against Rohingya and other minorities.
The 193 UN member body voted 134-9 with 28 abstentions in favour of the resolution but Myanmar’s Ambassador to the UN Hau Do Suan said, “This draft resolution is yet another classic example of double standards, selective and discriminatory application of human rights norms on a member country.
On November 11, Gambia, with the backing of the 57 members of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation, filed a case with the International Criminal Justice (ICJ) in Hague, Netherlands 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 case was heard earlier this month in which Gambia was represented by its Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubacarr M Tambedou but Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi said Gambia had presented an incomplete and misleading picture of the situation in Rakhine state.
Ambassador Suan to the general assembly that the resolution is purposefully crafted to exert unwarranted political pressure on Myanmar, saying the draft resolution, as it stands, will sow seeds of mistrust and will create further polarisation of different communities in the region.
During the hearing of Gambia’s genocide case against Myanmar, Kyi said the situation in Rakhine is complex and not easy to fathom but one thing that surely touches everyone is the suffering of many people whose lives have been torn apart as a result of the armed conflict in 2017.
In 2017 Rohingya militants carried out a series of attacks against Myanmar security forces, killing 12 police officers. It triggered a crackdown by Myanmar’s military, with widespread reports of indiscriminate killings, arson, looting and rape. More than 730,000 Rohingya fled the country.
More than 730,000 Rohingya, most of them Muslims, fled to neighboring Bangladesh following a 2017 crackdown by Myanmar’s military, which UN investigators said was carried out with “genocidal intent.” Myanmar has repeatedly justified the crackdown on the Rohingya as necessary to stamp out “terrorism”. It also insists its own committees are adequate to investigate allegations of abuse.
In 2018, the United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar concluded that “the actions of those who orchestrated the attacks on the Rohingya read as a veritable check-list” on how to destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. The mission concluded in 2019 that “the State of Myanmar breached its obligation not to commit genocide under the Genocide Convention.”
Gambia’s case is the first international legal attempt to bring Myanmar to justice over the Rohingya crisis, and is a rare example of a country suing another over an issue to which it is not directly a party. Both Gambia and Myanmar are signatories to the 1948 Genocide Convention, which not only prohibits states from committing genocide but also compels all signatory states to prevent and punish the crime of genocide.