By The European Rohingya Council
The European Rohingya Council calls on the International Community to join Gambia seeking justice and accountability for Rohingya
The European Rohingya Council welcomes Gambia´s initiative in its case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Myanmar as a country has not only failed to prevent and stop genocide against its own ethnic Rohingya minority within its territory, and it also refuses cooperation with the UN’s Independent International Fact-Finding Mission and the UN special Rapporteur Ms Yanghee Lee, and continues to deny unfettered access to Rakhine state.
Since the 1962 Myanmar Military coup, Rohingya people have faced institutionalized policies stripping of their ethnic identity and citizenship, and systematic persecutions with an intent to destroy the Rohingya community as a whole. The continuation of state-sanctioned waves of atrocious military campaigns against Rohingya in Rakhine State, has brought destruction in every aspect of Rohingya community – socially, cultural, religiously, economically and politically.
The mass exodus witnessed by the world in August 2017, is the latest campaign commanded under the watch of Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
Between 2017 and 2018, over 754,000 Rohingya were uprooted from northern Rakhine State, forcing them to seek refuge in Bangladesh after more than 390 of their villages were razed down in the scorched-earth campaigns in which tens of thousands Rohingya civilians were killed and hundreds of Rohingya girls and women were sexually assaulted and raped as the weapon of war.
Nearly 120,000 of Rohingya are also still trapped inside Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps in across Rakhine State after series of state-sponsored campaigns unfolded from 2012 to 2015. The government has failed to return the internally displaced Rohingya to their place of origins coupled with the lack of accountability and restoration of citizenship and basic human rights that the Rohingya community has once enjoyed before the military coup.
Approximately half a million of remaining Rohingya in Rakhine State are facing severe forms of human rights abuses with almost no access to humanitarian aid and medical care, which the fact-finding mission on Myanmar called the “ongoing genocide” and warned that “there is a strong inference of continued genocidal intent on the part of the state in relation to the Rohingya and there is a serious risk of genocide recurring.”
Myanmar has failed its obligation to prevent, investigate and punish the perpetrators of the genocide under the Genocide Convention.
Therefore, the ERC calls on all states signatory to the UN’s Genocide Convention to uphold their obligations to prevent, intervene and hold perpetrators accountable when it comes to the gravest crimes such as the genocide which is well-documented and perpetrated by Myanmar against the Rohingya community.
As we applaud Gambia’s courageous act of solidary standing up for justice and accountability for the victims of Myanmar genocide, we urge the international community to join and support Gambia at the International Court of Justice in the pursuit of justice for the Rohingya community and holding the Myanmar Military to account for the genocide against Rohingya.
For more information,
Dr. Anita Schug