New Delhi: In a historic judgement, The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday gave a fresh lease of life to Rohingya Muslims by ordering Myanmar to remove the imposition of ‘provisional measures’ and prevent genocide against the minority group at all costs. Also Read - Siddharth Chatterjee of India Takes Over As Top UN Diplomat In China
Reading out the judgement, the UN top court’s Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf upheld the so-called provisions stating that the “Rohingya in Myanmar remain extremely vulnerable”, and that the country had caused “irreparable damage” to their rights. The court added that the ruling was binding and creates “international legal obligations” as applicable on Myanmar. Also Read - India Will Not Shy Away From Raising Its Voice Against Enemies of Humanity Like Terrorism: Ambassador to UN
The decision was taken unanimously despite Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi defending her stance against the accusations in person last month. She described the violence as an “internal armed conflict” triggered by Rohingya militants attacking government security posts. Also Read - Human Rights Day 2020: Know History, Significance And Theme Of This Day
The case was brought before the ICJ by African Muslim-majority country, The Gambia, accusing Myanmar of committing genocide by reviling Rohingyas as “illegal immigrants from Bangladesh” despite their presence in the country for centuries.
In December last year, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution condemning human rights abuses against the Muslim Rohingya community and other minorities in Myanmar. The resolution was signed by a total of 134 countries in the 193-member world body, with nine votes against and 28 abstaining.
Thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed and over 800,000 flew to neighbouring countries after an alleged genocide was attempted through military operations, carried out in the Rakhine state by the Myanmar army in 2016 and 2017.
However, the South-East Asian nation, predominantly Buddhist, had maintained that the military campaign was launched to tackle an extremist threat in Rakhine state.