Gambia will be taking Myanmar to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to face charges of genocide against its Rohingya minority, said Gambia’s Attorney General and Minister for Justice Abubacarr Marie Tambadou.
The charges, which will be filed by the Gambian Ministry of Justice’s legal team, will be the first time that the Myanmar authorities will be accused of the crimes of genocide at the International Court of Justice, according to Asia Justice Coalition.
“I can confirm that on October 4, I have instructed our lawyers to file the case at the International Court of Justice,” the Asia Justice Coalition quoted Tambadou as saying at a conclave on ‘Justice and Accountability for the Rohingya’ at the Hague recently.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Cox’s Bazar since August 25, 2017 amid military crackdown against Rohingyas in Rakhine State.
Tambadou said, “I could smell the stench of genocide from miles away when I visited the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar. It was all too familiar for me, after a decade of interacting with the victims of the Rwandan mass rapes, killings and genocide.”
Tambadou previously served as a special assistant to the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
The crimes committed against the Rohingya people, he added, illustrate the failure of the international community to prevent genocide, 75 years after it committed itself to the promise of “never again” at the Nuremberg Trials.
The Conclave on Justice and Accountability for the Rohingya was co-convened by the Asia Justice Coalition and the Centre of Peace and Justice at BRAC University in Dhaka.
The Conclave was hosted at The Hague by the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University.
Speakers at the Conclave included Bob Rae, Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, who affirmed the need to hold Myanmar accountable for crimes against the Rohingya.
More than 100 participants took part in the Conclave, including senior government officials, leading international human rights lawyers, human rights activists, and leaders of the Rohingya community, to discuss the issues of justice and accountability for the crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingya.
The Asia Justice Coalition, a co-convener of the Conclave, is a network of organisations promoting justice and accountability for gross violations of international human rights law in Asia.
Member organisations of the Asia Cooalition include Burmese Rohingya Organisation, Centre for Peace and Justice, Asia Justice and Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists.