• Wednesday, Aug 05, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:35 am

Myanmar cannot escape justice

  • Published at 02:40 pm December 12th, 2019
Photo: REUTERS
Photo: REUTERS

Nothing can justify just egregious human rights abuses as those that have taken place in Rakhine state

Myanmar and its military are currently being exposed for its gross violations of human rights -- through their ethnic cleansing operations of the Rohingya minority -- at the International Court of Justice, the highest court of the United Nations.

This is all thanks to the tireless efforts of Gambia, a relatively small West African nation, who saw shades of the Rwandan genocide in the plight of the Rohingya. And it is because of Gambia, largely, that the world is finally starting to give the Rohingya crisis the attention it deserves.

Perhaps the biggest news to arrive from the trials so far is the United States imposing strict sanctions against four of the Myanmar army’s top military leaders, including military chief Min Aung Hlaing and his deputy.

This is truly an amazing turn of events.

Backing Gambia’s initiative is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and its 57 member states, Canada, and the Netherlands. And while the trials have only just begun, it is nothing short of heartening to see so many countries finally waking up to Myanmar’s history of abuse against its own minority groups.

While the country, led by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, is once again relying on the same tactics to justify its ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, we hope the US’s tough sanctions -- which essentially render the affected military generals as persona non grata -- will set a precedent for all the other nations still conducting business with Myanmar.

Nothing can justify just egregious human rights abuses as those that have taken place in Rakhine state, and the Rohingya are entitled to their homeland just as anyone else -- and it is time to send this message by hitting the country where it hurts: Its economy.

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