Gambia v. Myanmar update: The Court decides that the declarations of intervention filed by seven States are admissible

ICJ update: Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar) - The Court decides that the declarations of intervention filed by seven States are admissible

From February 21 to 28, 2022, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, will hold public hearings in the Case of The Gambia v. Myanmar concerning Myanmar’s alleged violations of the Genocide Convention against the ethnic Rohingya population in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State. The following questions and answers address key issues regarding those hearings. 

The Gambia v. Myanmar provides an unprecedented opportunity for the ICJ to scrutinize the abuses of Myanmar’s military. While the ICJ case focuses exclusively on alleged crimes against the Rohingya, the military has inflicted grave abuses across Myanmar. At the beginning of the case, ethnic groups both inside and outside the country issued statements backing the ICJ proceedings, noting similarities in the military’s brutal tactics against the Rohingya and other minority communities.

The Myanmar military’s well-documented abuses against the Rohingya and other ethnic minority groups in Myanmar span decades, but until Gambia brought a case before the ICJ, the government’s atrocities within Myanmar had been almost completely beyond the reach of justice. The impunity that the military has enjoyed since first taking power in 1962 enabled ongoing abuses and may have paved the way for the February 1, 2021 coup and the new military junta. 

The United Nations-backed Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (“Fact-Finding Mission”) called for the investigation and prosecution of Myanmar’s military commanders, including Sen. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes related to the abuses in Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan States since 2011. As leader of the military junta, Min Aung Hlaing has also overseen a brutal crackdown over the past year against millions of anti-junta protesters. Since the coup, junta security forces have carried out mass killings, torture, sexual violence, arbitrary arrests, and other abuses that Human Rights Watch believes amount to crimes against humanity. Security forces have killed over 1,500 people since the coup, including at least 100 children, and arbitrarily detained over 11,000 activists, politicians, journalists, and others. 


Rohingya Genocide 557094420257425829

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