Myanmar cannot be trusted to hold its soldiers accountable for alleged atrocities against its Rohingya Muslim minority, and measures to stop the violence need to be taken immediately, a lawyer presenting a genocide case against it said on Thursday

Iran PressEurope: Speaking on the third and final day of hearings at the International Court of Justice in the case brought by Gambia under the 1948 Genocide Convention, the west African country’s lead lawyer repeated its demand for “provisional measures” to restrain the Myanmar military until the case is heard in full, Reuters reported.


The de facto leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi leaves the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the top United Nations court, during court hearings in a case filed by Gambia against Myanmar alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya population, in The Hague, Netherlands December 12, 2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier

Paul Reichler, said Myanmar had not even tried during the hearings to deny most of the accusations of extreme violence made against its military, known officially as the Tatmadaw, nor of the mass deportation of Rohingya following a 2017 crackdown.

Statements from Myanmar that it was taking action to prosecute soldiers accused of wrongdoing were incredible, he said.

“How can anyone possibly expect the Tatmadaw to hold itself accountable for genocidal acts against the Rohingya, when six of its top generals including the commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, have all been accused of genocide by the UN fact-finding mission and recommended for criminal prosecution,” he told the panel of 17 judges.

He was referring to the findings of U.N. investigators who in an August 2018 report said the Myanmar military had carried out killings and mass rape with “genocidal intent” in the 2017 operation. Gambia’s legal team had outlined graphic testimony from their report at the first day of hearings on Tuesday.

More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to Bangladesh after the military launched its crackdown. The U.N. investigators have said 10,000 people may have been killed.

The de facto leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi had led her country’s defense on Wednesday, telling the court the military-led “clearance operation” in western Rakhine State was a counterterrorism response to coordinated Rohingya militant attacks against dozens of police stations in August 2017.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate said that Myanmar “actively investigates, prosecutes and punishes soldiers and officers that are accused of wrongdoing” and argued the tribunal, also known as the World Court, should not have jurisdiction.

Rohingya Muslims on Wednesday night called on the international community not to believe the statements of Myanmar's ruling party leader in the International Court of Justice.

This week, the International Court of Justice is considering whether to grant a provisional measure aimed at protecting Rohingya still living in Myanmar's Rakhine state. The tiny Muslim-majority nation of Gambia brought the case against Myanmar, which is accused of violating the 1948 convention against genocide. The ICJ has in the past confirmed that all member states have the duty to prevent genocide.

The UN estimates that 10,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh since a 2017 military crackdown, which U.N. investigators found in August to have been carried out with genocidal intent.

Suu Kyi has come under heavy international criticism for her refusal to even condemn the widely-reported bloody violence targeting the Muslims Rohingya.


Read More:

Rohingya muslims denies Suu Kyi statements at the Hague