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ICJ begins hearing on Rohingya atrocities case

On Tuesday, Gambia will present its case at the ICJ followed by the defense presented by Myanmar on Wednesday. On the final day of the hearing on Thursday, both the sides will present their second round of observations.

Myanmar’s state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in her capacity as foreign affairs minister arrived in the Hague on Sunday to lead the Myanmar’s defence against the allegations over the next three days of hearing at the ICJ starting on Tuesday.

Myanmar has consistently denied the allegation of atrocities against the Rohingyas. It claims that the ‘clearance operations’ by the military in the Rakhine province were counter terrorism measures against insurgents active in that area of Myanmar.

A Bangladesh delegation, led by Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque along with civil society representatives reached the Hague to witness the proceedings as observers.

The ICJ is not empowered to punish individuals. Gambia has requested the ICJ to impose provisional measures to protect Rohingyas from further persecution by the Myanmar military. The final ruling on the ‘genocide’ issue may take a long time to be decided by the ICJ.

In another development on Nov 14, the International Criminal Court (ICC), based in The Hague authorized its prosecutor office to launch an investigation into the Rohingya situation in Bangladesh/Myanmar.

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