World Court hearings on Rohingya genocide case set on February


The attorney general of Gambia said a fresh round of hearings is set to begin on February at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on allegations that Myanmar’s government committed genocide against its Rohingya minority.

Myanmar’s current government meanwhile, led by a military junta who took power in a coup last year, is expected to challenge the jurisdiction of the court.

Gambian Attorney General Dawda Jallow, whose country bought the case said “a hybrid hearing (is) set to commence on Feb 21, 2022”.

He added that Aung San Suu Kyi, who led Myanmar’s defence at the first public hearings in 2019 but has since been deposed by the military, had been formally replaced as its top representative in the case.

A hybrid hearing is a procedure where some of the participants are present in person and others participate online due to Covid -19 measures.

More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar after a military-led crackdown in 2017 and were forced into squalid camps across the border in Bangladesh.

UN investigators concluded that the military campaign had been executed with “genocidal intent”.

An ICJ spokesperson declined to confirm dates for a new hearing had been scheduled.

In December 2019 Nobel peace prize laureate Suu Kyi, then Myanmar’s civilian leader, personally attended hearings at The Hague to ask judges to dismiss the case.

She was deposed in a 2021 coup and has since been sentenced to six years in detention and faces a slew of further charges. The army takeover of the democratically elected government led to widespread protests.

The military government has been fighting for international recognition and could be eager for the opportunity to show themselves as Myanmar’s legitimate representatives at the UN’s top court.

Sources close to the case say the junta has been engaging with the court to submit court-ordered reports every six months on the situation with the Rohingya. The reports are not public.

The next step in ICJ proceedings is Myanmar’s challenge to the jurisdiction of the court. The question if genocide was committed in Myanmar will be dealt with in later hearings. (Source: CNA)