Pressure mounts over Rohingya issue

  • AseanPlus News
  • Monday, 27 Jan 2020

DHAKA: Myanmar and its ally China will face mounting pressure after the World Court asked Naypyidaw to stop genocidal acts in Rakhine State, analysts said.

The ruling is a slap on Myanmar and its allies, Prof Imtiaz Ahmed, director of the Centre for Genocide Studies at Dhaka University, said yesterday.

The most important aspect of the ruling is that Myanmar has to submit a report to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) within four months on the measures taken to prevent the genocidal acts. Similar reports will have to be submitted every six months, he said.

The Gambia has to approve of the reports that will be submitted by Myanmar, he added.

The ICJ on Thursday ordered Myanmar not to destroy the evidence of crimes committed against the ethnic minority in Rakhine State.“A big victory in the ruling is that the ICJ has recognised the ethnic community as Rohingya. So, Myanmar cannot deny this identity and say they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh, ” said Imtiaz.

The 17 judges, including the ones from Myanmar, China and Gambia, unanimously took the decision, which is quite rare, the professor of international relations said.

The provisional measures ordered by the court, are legally-binding. In accordance with the Statute of the Court, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will promptly transmit the notice of the provisional measures to the UN Security Council, according to a statement issued yesterday by a spokesman of Guterres.

Guterres strongly supported the use of peaceful means to settle international disputes, it said.

He further recalls that, pursuant to the Charter and to the Statute of the Court, decisions of the court are binding and believes that Myanmar will duly comply with the order from the court, it added.

Asked what role China and Russia can play when the orders are sent to the UN Security Council as these veto powers earlier opposed any concrete actions against Myanmar for the atrocities, Imtiaz said, “Even if the Security Council doesn’t work, Myanmar is legally-bound to implement the orders.”

He reckons that China and Russia will not oppose the ICJ orders because they will be then globally described as complicit in genocide.

There were questions as to whether Dhaka was able to truly internationalise the Rohingya crisis, but with the ICJ ruling, it has been ensured that a global body will watch Myanmar’s actions, he said. — The Daily Star/ANN

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