GS Paper - 2 (International Relations)

Judges at the United Nations’ highest court have dismissed preliminary objections by Myanmar to a case alleging the Southeast Asian nation is responsible for genocide against the Rohingya ethnic minority. The decision clears the way for the highly charged case, brought by Gambia, to go ahead at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), a process that will take years.

What

  1. A small group of pro-Rohingya protesters gathered outside the court’s headquarters, the Peace Palace, ahead of the decision with a banner reading: “Speed up delivering justice to Rohingya.
  2. The genocide survivors can’t wait for generations.” One protester stamped on a large photograph of Myanmar’s military government leader, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.
  3. Myanmar’s military launched what it called a clearance campaign in Rakhine state in 2017 in the aftermath of an attack by a Rohingya insurgent group.
  4. More than 700,000 Rohingya fled into neighbouring Bangladesh and Myanmar security forces have been accused of mass rapes, killings and torching thousands of Rohingya homes.
  5. Amid international outrage at the treatment of the Rohingya, Gambia filed the case with the world court in November 2019, alleging that Myanmar is breaching the genocide convention.
  6. The nation argued that both Gambia and Myanmar are parties to the convention and that all signatories have a duty to ensure it is enforced.
  7. The Gambia, a predominantly Muslim country, is backed by the 57-member Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
  8. So far, only three cases of genocide worldwide have been recognised since World War II: Cambodia (the late 1970s), Rwanda (1994), and Srebrenica, Bosnia (1995).