Myanmar junta to challenge World Court jurisdiction in genocide case

Myanmar junta to challenge World Court jurisdiction in genocide case

Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks at the International Court of Justice ICJ in The Hague, Netherlands on December 10, 2019, in a case filed by Gambia against Myanmar alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya population. DAKAR THE HAGUE, Jan 14 Reuters - Representatives of Myanmar's junta are expected to challenge the jurisdiction of the World Court to hear allegations that the country committed genocide against its Rohingya minority in a new round of hearings from Feb. 21, the attorney general of Gambia, which brought the case.

A hybrid hearing is scheduled to begin on February 21, 2022, according to Gambian Attorney General Dawda Jallow. 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.

Some of the participants are present in person and others are 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. The military campaign had been executed with genocidal intent, according to U.N. investigators. An ICJ spokeswoman declined to confirm the dates for a new hearing.

In December of 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 other charges. The army takeover of the democratically elected government resulted in widespread protests. L 1 N 2 TQ 09 N read more

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

Sources close to the case say that the junta has been engaged with the court to submit court-ordered reports every six months on the situation with the Rohingya. Myanmar is attempting to challenge the jurisdiction of the court in the next step in ICJ proceedings. The question if genocide has been committed in Myanmar will be dealt with later in the hearings.