The United Nations’ top court on Thursday (Jan 23) ordered Myanmar take all measures in its power to prevent genocide against the Rohingya.
The court’s president, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, said the International Court of Justice “is of the opinion that the Rohingya in Myanmar remain extremely vulnerable.” The court added that its order for so-called provisional measures intended to protect the Rohingya is binding “and creates international legal obligations” on Myanmar.
At the end of an hour-long sitting in the court’s wood-paneled Great Hall of Justice, judges also ordered Myanmar to report to them in four months on what measures the country has taken to comply with the order and then to report every six months as the case moves slowly through the world court.
Gambia had asked the ICJ to order “provisional measures” to prevent more harm, a first step in a legal case that is expected to run for years. It has also asked judges to order Myanmar to ensure any evidence of atrocities is preserved. At the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh, where the Rohingya who fled are settled, many hope for a ruling in their favor after years of persecution.
Aboubacar Tambadou, Gambia’s attorney general and justice minister, is fighting the case for Rohingya, Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is present at the ICJ to defend the actions of her country’s army.
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