The United Nations describes them as the world’s most persecuted community, India, declares them illegal and burns their camps, and the USA offers them political asylum. They are Rohingyas, denied the citizenship of their country, Myanmar, and the apartheid victims, as describes by the South African leader Desmund Tutu.
Before the present crisis, there were over1.5 million of them in Maynmar. They are indigenous people of Western Maynmar, who adapted to Arab, Mughal and Portuguese cultures over a millennium. They are the descendants of an autonomous state of Arakan between South East Asia and South Asia. The Myanmar government calls them illegal intruders from Bangladesh and use the term Bangali instead of Rohingyas. Since 2015, when the Maynmar government launched operation to clean up, thousands have died, and many more have become refugees in neighboring countries. Myanmar’s presidential spokesman admitted in 2017 that 176 ethnic Rohingya villages—out of the original 471.
The Yale Law School conducted a study of the persecuted Rohingyas and concluded that the Maynmar government was waging genocide against them. A further investigation by the International State Crime Initiative of the University of London confirmed that.
In its report issued in August 2018, the United Nations held the Manaymar military responsible for the genocide. They recommended that the military commanding officers face the Internation Criminal County.
A year later, The Gambia’s President lodged an official application with the ICJ against Maynmar. It documented mass murder, rapes, and destruction of Rohingyas in Rakhine state since 2016.
It explained that these acts violate the Genocide Convention. The ICJ held a public hearing on 10-12 December 2019. The Gambia’s team provided “brutal descriptions” of atrocities, while the Maynmar government avoided using the word “Rohingya.”
The ICJ issued a provisional order in December ordering Myanmar to prevent genocidal acts against the Rohingya Muslims during the pendency of the case, and to report regularly on its implementation.
Myanmar has until January 25, 2021, for its responsive Counter-Memorial. The Gambia submitted its memorial on July 23.
The Court’s order “obviously a win for The Gambia, and the Rohingya cause. But it is not enough to help Rohingyas to return to their country and reclaim their citizenship.