Myanmar's Suu Kyi arrives at United Nations court for genocide hearings

Clay Curtis
December 10, 2019

A Bangladesh delegation, led by Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque, is already there in The Hague.

"If Gambia seeks any technical support, we will provide them [with it]", he told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

Myanmar says its military operations targeted Rohingya militants and the military has previously cleared itself of wrong doing.

More than 700,000 Rohingya fled to neighbouring Bangladesh to escape what has been called an ethnic cleansing campaign involving mass rapes, killings and the torching of homes.

But symbolically, the image of Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her resistance against Myanmar's military in 1991, now returning to Europe to defend the government against atrocities it has committed, will be a vivid illustration of how much the worldwide image of her has changed over the past few years.

Suu Kyi has been severely criticized in recent years for her reluctance to talk about the Rohingya crisis, despite the violent campaign of the Myanmar army against the minority group.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) genocide hearings will include the first response by Myanmar to allegations of atrocities against the Rohingya before an independent and impartial court, Human Rights Watch said today.

In November an attempt to repatriate 2,260 Rohingya fails as they refuse to leave without guarantees for their safety.

'Support for The Gambia, together with Canada, is part of this second route, ' he said.

Outside the court, dozens of Rohingya demonstrated to demand justice for victims, while in Yangon, the commercial capital of Myanmar, thousands of people rallied in support of Suu Kyi, waving national flags as they chanted: "To protect the country's dignity, stand with Mother Suu".

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Earlier this year, an ICC team visited Rohingya refugee camps in southeastern Bangladesh to gather information and lay the ground work for a potential case against Myanmar.

In August, Bangladesh set up a voluntary return scheme - but not a single Rohingya chose to go.

Underlining that there was factual evidence showing Myanmar committed genocide against Rohingya, he said: "We have heard Myanmar government is forcing and misusing our Rohingya inside the Arakan to give false witnesses against our people at ICJ".

"We're confident the court will urgently and appropriately respond to the situation", said Matthew Smith, Chief Executive Officer at Fortify Rights.

The Irrawaddy, an online news journal in Myanmar, noted in Aung San Suu Kyi's defense that no army leaders joined her when she left for the Netherlands Sunday, suggesting that the world should distance "The Lady" from the military.

"Aung San Suu Kyi did nothing to stop the killing. In addition, we don't believe that the military has committed or orchestrated the genocide as it has been charged", he told the Myanmar service of Radio Free Asia (RFA), a sister service of BenarNews. "What is going on in Rakhine state is despicable - they are disgusting, and the world must hold Myanmar accountable for these actions, and one way to do this is the legal process that Gambia has engaged in".

Yet even they could not bring themselves to use the loaded word "Rohingya", referring to the persecuted minority in their statement with the pejorative term "Bengali", which suggests they are from Bangladesh. They are too illiterate to understand the procedures of registration as refugees.

BenarNews talked Monday to an army official who was supervising the installation of pillars for fencing at the number 11, 12, 13 and 19 camps in Palongkhali, a local area.

Gambia has engaged an global law farm and senior officials of the country to deal the matters at the ICJ.

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