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Myanmar Shadow Government drops Objections in ICJ on Rohingya Genocide Case

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Mitali Palnitkar

Published On: February 03, 2022 at 17:10 IST

Myanmar’s Shadow Government which was set up after the Military Coup last year said that it would accept the Jurisdiction of International Court of Justice (ICJ) to hear allegations that Myanmar had committed genocide against the Rohingya minority.

Before the Military had seized power in Myanmar last year, the government led by Aung San Suu Kyi had filed preliminary objections to the ICJ over the Case brought by Gambia in relation to the Rohingya genocide. It was alleged that Myanmar had violated the 1948 Genocide Convention.

On February 1, 2022, the National Unity Government (NUG), which is a parallel Administration including the deposed lawmakers in exile had stated that it had withdrawn all the preliminary objections to the Case.

The NUG stated, “It would set a dangerous precedent and be inconsistent of the UN General Assembly for the ICJ to accept the Military junta as the representative of Myanmar. The NUG strongly believes that it would also be detrimental to the interests of Myanmar and the people of Myanmar and to the cause of Justice for the Rohingya people.”

It also stated that the ICJ had been communicating with the Myanmar diplomats in Brussels through ‘bureaucratic idiosyncrasy’. The NUG further stated, “Should the ICJ recognize the military, it would embolden the Junta to continue and escalate its daily Atrocity Crimes.”

The NUG urged the ICJ to deal with Kyaw Moe Tun, the permanent representative of Myanmar to the United Nations.

Over 7,30,000 Rohingya Muslims had fled the Rakhine State of Mynamar in 2017 after a military crackdown. The UN Investigators concluded that the Rohingya insurgents were executed with a Genocidal intent.

In December 2019, Aung San Suu Kyi had attended the Hearings at Hague and asked the Judges at ICJ to dismiss the Case. She had defended the Myanmar Military against genocides and crimes against humanity and stated that there was no genocidal intent.

The Military government in Myanmar has been fighting for international recognition. It is eager for the opportunity to portray themselves as the legitimate representatives of Myanmar at the ICJ.

The next step in the Proceedings of ICJ is Myanmar’s challenge to the Jurisdiction of the Court. The question if genocide was committed in Myanmar would be dealt in the later Hearings.