Gambia files Rohingya genocide case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice

Gambia files Rohingya genocide case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice

On 11 November 2019, the Republic of The Gambia instituted proceedings against the Republic of the Union of Myanmar before the International Court of Justice, alleging violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of through “acts adopted, taken and condoned by the Government of Myanmar against members of the Rohingya group”.

Specifically, The Gambia argues that “from around October 2016 the Myanmar military (the ‘Tatmadaw’) and other Myanmar security forces began widespread and systematic ‘clearance operations’ ¾ the term that Myanmar itself uses ¾against the Rohingya group. The genocidal acts committed during these operations were intended to destroy the Rohingya as a group, in whole or in part, by the use of mass murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, as well as the systematic destruction by fire of their villages, often with inhabitants locked inside burning houses. From August 2017 onwards, such genocidal acts continued with Myanmar’s resumption of ‘clearance operations’ on a more massive and wider geographical scale.” The Gambia contends that these acts constitute violations of the Genocide Convention. It states that it has made this claim known to Myanmar since September 2018, but that Myanmar has continued to deny any wrongdoing. The Applicant seeks to found the Court’s jurisdiction to entertain this dispute on Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Court and on Article IX of the Genocide Convention, to which both States are parties.

 

Cf. ICJ press release of 11 Novembre 2019, https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/178/178-20191111-PRE-01-00-EN.pdf

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