• Monday, Jan 20, 2020
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Myanmar faces the music

  • Published at 12:00 am December 10th, 2019
Suu Kyi
Photo: REUTERS

We hope the Gambian delegation succeeds in showing just how grave the injustice against the Rohingya has been

With close to a million Rohingya currently living in refuge in Bangladesh, to say that Myanmar and its military’s ethnic cleansing campaign against their own people has destroyed lives would be a gross understatement.

With little to no support from the international community initially, the responsibility to provide shelter to the ones who were lucky enough to escape Myanmar’s brutality fell on Bangladesh -- a responsibility that our country has upheld with aplomb, despite dwindling resources and limited capacity.

In times as dark as these, it was nothing short of a surprise that a country as small as Gambia would show the world what it means to stand up against injustice. The country, which holds next to no global clout, filed a lawsuit accusing Myanmar of genocide against the Rohingya at the top court of the United Nations.

And we are witnessing the result of such an unprecedented move as Myanmar’s trial in the International Court of Justice begins today.

This trial is going to be a true test for both Myanmar and the international community at large, who have largely failed to address the country’s atrocities in any tangible way.

Myanmar’s storied tactic of stalling can already be seen in progress through the words and attitudes of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi (who is leading the Myanmar delegation) -- mainly in her continuous denial of knowing anything about the Rohingya crisis.

This trial will likely set the precedent for any future actions against Myanmar for its crimes against the Rohingya, and as such we hope the Gambian delegation succeeds in showing just how grave the injustice against the Rohingya has been.

Myanmar cannot evade this any longer.