Fri, 25 Sep 2020

Naypyitaw [Myanmar], Dec 8 (ANI): Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday departed for a hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to defend her country against Gambia's charges of the genocide of minority Muslim community in the South Asian country.

Gambia's case stemmed from the Tatmadaw's (military's) massive crackdown in northern Rakhine State in 2017 that forced over 700,000 Muslims to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh.

The international community since then has accused Myanmar of perpetrating systematic abuses against the Muslim minority, including murder, rape, arson, and other atrocities, The Myanmar Times reported.

The government has, however, vehemently denied the accusations and claimed that it had already punished troops, who were proven to have committed abuses in Rakhine.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was accompanied by U Kyaw Tint Swe, Minister of the State Counsellor's office, U Kyaw Tin, the Minister of International Cooperation, and other senior officials her office.

The UN's top court will hold hearings in the case from Tuesday to Thursday.

The Gambia will ask the 16-member panel of judges at the ICJ to impose "provisional measures" to protect northern Rakhine Muslims before the case is heard in full.

The Gambia filed the lawsuit against Myanmar at the ICJ on November 11 for violating its obligations under the Genocide Convention. The lawsuit seeks to ensure Myanmar's responsibility as a state for genocide committed against Muslims in northern Rakhine.

Most Myanmar people consider northern Rakhine Muslims illegal immigrants from Bangladesh although they have lived in the state for generations.

The ICJ has also authorised an investigation of crimes against northern Rakhine Muslims. But Myanmar said it would not cooperate with the probe because it is not a signatory of the Rome Statute.

The ICJ settles disputes between nations, while the ICC seeks to convict individuals responsible for crimes. (ANI)

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