Gambia welcomes UN court order


Welcoming Thursday’s order of top UN court for Myanmar to protect the Rohingya, Gambia, bringing the case to the international tribunal, is now pursuing to secure a favorable judgement against Myanmar, reports Anadolu Agency. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Myanmar to implement certain preventive measures against the genocide of the persecuted Rohingya community. 

“The Republic of Gambia welcomes today’s unanimous decision by the International Court of Justice in The Hague to order provisional measures to prevent further acts of genocide from occurring in Myanmar,” the Justice Ministry said in a statement following the ICJ verdict.  It also said Gambia fully expects Myanmar to comply with the provisional measures which are binding under international law. 

Gambia also “called on the UN Security Council to fulfill its role in ensuring compliance with the court’s order.”  UN’s top court unanimously approved provisional measures requested by Gambia and urged Myanmar, and all entities under its control, to take all measures within its power to prevent all acts of genocide against the Rohingya. 

The court also ordered Myanmar to ensure the preservation of all evidence related to the allegations of the crime of genocide.  Meanwhile, Myanmar was also ordered to submit a report to the ICJ after four months, and then every six months thereafter, on its compliance with its order.  The request by Myanmar for the ICJ to dismiss Gambia’s case and strike it from the court’s docket was thus rejected. 

“While these measures offer some interim protection for the Rohingya, Gambia looks forward to pursuing its case against Myanmar to a final judgment of the court on the merits and on damages,” the Gambia statement said.  Gambia’s Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou formally brought the genocide case against Myanmar at the ICJ in last December.  

Tambadou is also a human rights lawyer who served at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda from 2012 to 2016.  Tambadou told Anadolu Agency in September that the small West African country was taking Myanmar to court on the belief that the country has violated the Genocide Convention. 

“It is also about the time that the conscience of the international community is awakened to the plight of the Rohingya … What is going on in Rakhine state is despicable -- they are horrible, and the world must hold Myanmar accountable for these actions, and one way to do this is the legal process that Gambia has engaged in,” said Tambadou. 

Gambia has witnessed 22 years of repressive rule by former President Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh’s rule was marked by widespread abuses, including forced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and arbitrary detentions, according to Human Rights Watch. 

“Twenty-two years of a brutal dictatorship in my own country has taught us that we must use our moral voice in condemnation of the oppression of others wherever it occurs around the world so that others will not suffer our pain and our fate,” Tambadou earlier said.