UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrived at the International Court of Justice on Tuesday to defend her country against charges of genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority while thousands of people gathered in Myanmar to support it.
The Gambia filed a lawsuit in November against predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, accusing it of violating its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Prevention and Punishment Convention. This is the third genocide lawsuit to be held in court since World War II.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi is expected to repeat her denial of genocide against the Rohingya during the three-day court sessions, and will also say that the military operations contained in the accusations were a legitimate response to fighting terrorism after attacks by Rohingya gunmen.
In a motorcade, Suu Kyi arrived at the Peace Palace in The Hague just before the trial began on Tuesday morning. I ignored the journalists ’questions.
Earlier, thousands of people gathered in Yangon, the commercial capital of Myanmar, carrying pictures of Suu Kyi waving the national flag and chanting, “We stand with Mother Su to protect the country’s dignity.”
This week’s trial procedures, which are being examined by a panel of 17 judges, will not deal with the core allegations of genocide, but Gambia has requested a court order requiring Myanmar to cease any activity that would deepen the dispute.
The Gambia, the small Muslim country in Africa, will argue that the Myanmar forces committed systematic and widespread atrocities in what they have described as “purges” since August 2017 amounting to genocide.
In her petition to the court, she accused Myanmar of genocide, “with the aim of eliminating the Rohingya as a group, whether in whole or in part, through mass killing, rape and other forms of sexual violence, in addition to systematic destruction by burning their villages often while residents are in burned homes”.
The International Court of Justice does not have executive powers, but its rulings are final and legally significant.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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