Rohingya fleeing violence and death in Myanmar numbered hundreds of thousands seeking shelter in Bangladesh. (Dar Yasin/AP Photo/Sept. 14, 2017)

Canada and Netherlands support Gambia’s genocide case against Myanmar

Canada and the Netherlands will explore “all options” to support and assist Gambia in its application before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Myanmar for the alleged genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority, officials with Global Affairs Canada said Monday.

The tiny African nation, acting on behalf of the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, filed the lawsuit at UN’s top court on Nov. 11, seeking to hold Myanmar accountable under international law for violating the 1948 Genocide Convention.

The lawsuit by Gambia also asks the ICJ “for provisional measures” to order Myanmar to cease and desist from all acts of genocide, to punish those responsible, including senior government officials and military officers, and to make reparations to the victims.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former honorary Canadian citizen to defend Myanmar

State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi attends a special lunch on sustainable development on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 4, 2019. (Soe Zeya Tun/REUTERS)

The hearing on provisional measures will take place on Dec. 10-12 in The Hague, Netherlands, with Myanmar leader and Nobel peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi set to defend the Southeast Asian country formerly known as Burma against the charges of genocide.

“The Genocide Convention embodies the solemn pledge to prevent the crime of genocide and hold those responsible to account,” said a statement by Global Affairs Canada. “Canada and the Netherlands consider it their obligation to support the Gambia before the ICJ, as it should concern all of humanity.”

Decades of discrimination

Amina Khatun, a 30 year old Rohingya refugee who fled with her family from Myanmar a day before, cries after she and other thousands of newly arrived refugees spent a night by the road between refugee camps near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh October 10, 2017. Amina said her village in Buthidaung region was attacked by Myanmar military and burnt down. (Damir Sagolj/REUTERS)

More than 700,000 Rohingya from Myanmar’s Rakhine State fled to neighbouring Bangladesh after a bloody crackdown in 2017 by the Burmese military, and security forces, as well as Buddhist vigilante groups, which the United Nations investigators have concluded was carried out with “genocidal intent” and included mass killings and rape.

“For decades, the Rohingya have suffered systemic discrimination and exclusion, marred by waves of abhorrent violence,” the statement by Global Affairs said.

These facts have been corroborated by several investigations, including by the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar and human rights organizations, the statement said.

“In light of this evidence, Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands strongly believe this is a matter that is rightfully brought to the ICJ, so that it can provide judgement on whether acts of genocide have been committed,” the statement said. “We call upon all State Parties to the Genocide Convention to support the Gambia in its efforts to address these violations.”

Canada recognized the crimes against the Rohingya as constituting genocide through a unanimous motion in the House of Commons in September 2018.

The motion reiterated Canada’s call for the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

People gather to rally in support of Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi before she attends a hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in Bago, Myanmar Dec. 9, 2019. (Myat Thu Kyaw/REUTERS)

Myanmar has long denied accusations of genocide, saying it had to take action after Rohingya militants staged dozens of brazen attacks against Burmese security forces in August of 2017, while also promising to punish soldiers involved in “isolated” cases of wrongdoing.

Suu Kyi, who was stripped of her honorary Canadian citizenship in September of 2018, has been widely criticised for not speaking out against the atrocities carried out by Myanmar’s military, known as the Tatmadaw.

However, she remains overwhelmingly popular in her home country.

The case before the ICJ is not a criminal case against individual alleged perpetrators and it does not involve the International Criminal Court, a separate body, according to a background note prepared by Human Rights Watch.

Rather, the case is “state-to-state” litigation between UN member states governed by legal provisions in the UN Charter, the ICJ Statute, and the Genocide Convention, Human Rights Watch said.

Gambia’s filing marks the first time that a country without any direct connection to the alleged crimes has used its membership in the Genocide Convention to bring a case before the ICJ, it added.

With files from Reuters

Categories: International, Politics
Tags: , , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette
When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*