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Gambia: Myanmar cannot be trusted, atrocities against Rohingya must stop

Christian Fernsby |
Myanmar cannot be trusted to hold its soldiers accountable for alleged atrocities against its Rohingya Muslim minority, and measures to stop the violence need to be taken, a lawyer presenting a genocide case against it said.

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Topics: GAMBIA    MYANMAR    ROHINGYA   

Speaking on the third and final day of hearings at the International Court of Justice in the case brought by Gambia under the 1948 Genocide Convention, the west African country’s lead lawyer repeated its demand for “provisional measures” to restrain the Myanmar military until the case is heard in full.

Paul Reichler, said Myanmar had not even tried during the hearings to deny most of the accusations of extreme violence made against its military, known officially as the Tatmadaw, nor of the mass deportation of Rohingya following a 2017 crackdown.

Statements from Myanmar that it was taking action to prosecute soldiers accused of wrongdoing were incredible, he said.

“How can anyone possibly expect the Tatmadaw to hold itself accountable for genocidal acts against the Rohingya, when six of its top generals including the commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, have all been accused of genocide by the UN fact-finding mission and recommended for criminal prosecution,” he told the panel of 17 judges.

He was referring to the findings of UN investigators who in an August 2018 report said the Myanmar military had carried out killings and mass rape with “genocidal intent” in the 2017 operation. Gambia’s legal team had outlined graphic testimony from their report at the first day of hearings on Tuesday.

More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to Bangladesh after the military launched its crackdown. The UN investigators have said 10,000 people may have been killed.


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