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Expectations from the ICC

  • Published at 06:39 pm September 24th, 2018
rohingya
Photo: MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

The Rohingya continue to suffer, while the Myanmar army generals stand free and untouched

In the Myanmar army chief’s first public statement since the UN investigation into the atrocities committed against the Rohingya, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has said that no organization has the “right to interfere.” 

While a nation’s autonomy is crucial to its continued and sustainable development, this does not apply to a country which has systematically persecuted an entire ethnic minority, and forced them to flee to a neighbouring country. 

It is Bangladesh who has stepped up to take care of more than a million Rohingya, for whom Bangladesh has had to provide food, shelter, and aid. 

There is no denying that those responsible for the actions carried out against the Rohingya, which the UN has deemed to be “genocide,” deserve to be punished. 

But how much longer must the Rohingya wait for justice from the International Criminal Court? 

With the UN and the rest of the international community now recognizing the gravity of the Myanmar army’s crimes carried out against the Rohingya, inaction is no longer an option.

For the ICC to even begin to act, a state referral, a UN Security Council referral, or a prosecutor request would be required. 

In this regard, it seems that a state referral is the fastest route to justice, and Bangladesh should appeal to the UN to ensure that the ICC acts accordingly, and brings the Myanmar army generals to book. 

But if history is any indicator, it seems that, when it comes to investigation and subsequent prosecution, the UN has remained sluggish in its implementation, with bureaucratic red tape and a lack of resources standing as obstacles for efficient delivery of justice. 

The Rohingya continue to suffer, while the Myanmar army generals stand free and untouched; this is nothing short of a mockery of justice, and it is high time that all the talk turned into action.