Genocide case risks reigniting Rohingya crisis, says Suu Kyi

Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks on the second day of hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi warned on Thursday that a genocide case at the UN’s top court over Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya Muslim minority risked restarting the crisis.

Myanmar’s de facto civilian leader told the International Court of Justice that the case brought by The Gambia could “undermine reconciliation” and that it was “important to avoid any reignition of the 2016-17 internal armed conflict”.

The small African State of The Gambia has taken Myanmar to the tribunal in The Hague accusing it of genocide and seeking emergency measures to prevent further violence against the Rohingya. “I pray that the decision you make with the wisdom and vision of justice will help us to create unity out of diversity,” Ms. Suu Kyi told judges in her closing remarks to the court after a three-day hearing.

“Steps that generate suspicions, sow doubts or create resentments between communities who have just begun to build the fragile foundation of trust could undermine reconciliation,” she added in a short six-minute statement.

“Ending the ongoing internal conflict... is of the utmost importance for our country. But it is equally important to avoid any reignition of the 2016-17 internal armed conflict in northern Rakhine,” she added.

Thousands of people were killed and around 740,000 Rohingya fled across the border into sprawling refugee camps in Bangladesh after Myanmar launched a huge military crackdown in its Rakhine State. Ms. Suu Kyi told the court on Wednesday that there was no proof of “genocidal intent” and said the army operation was in response to attacks by Rohingya militants.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 1:57:09 PM |

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