Myanmar submits first report to ICJ on Rohingya measures

THE HAGUE • Myanmar has submitted its first report to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on steps it has taken to prevent the alleged genocide of Rohingya Muslims, the United Nation's top court said yesterday.

The ICJ made a provisional order in January that Buddhist-majority Myanmar must take "all measures within its power" to stop the alleged genocide of the minority group, and that it must report to the court at regular intervals.

The case was brought by the mainly Muslim African state of The Gambia, and featured a hearing in December where Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi presented Myanmar's case. One million Rohingya are languishing in camps in neighbouring Bangladesh after a brutal crackdown by Myanmar's military in 2017, while another 600,000 Rohingya remain in Myanmar's southwestern Rakhine state.

"On 22 May 2020, Myanmar submitted the first report indicated in the ICJ order on provisional measures of 23 January 2020," the ICJ said in a tweet, without giving further details.

The contents of Myanmar's report, of which a copy is to be sent to The Gambia, however will remain confidential until its judges decide to make it public, court officials said.

Rohingya pressure groups, however, said that Myanmar had taken "no meaningful steps whatsoever" to improve the situation in Rakhine since the ICJ decision in January.

In a unanimous ruling, the ICJ early this year rejected arguments by Ms Suu Kyi that the extent of crimes against the Rohingya might have been exaggerated, and that it was an internal affair.

The court granted the application for emergency measures, pending a full legal case that could take years, and said that Rohingya in Myanmar "remain extremely vulnerable".


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 26, 2020, with the headline Myanmar submits first report to ICJ on Rohingya measures. Subscribe