Millennium Post

Coming to rescue

Coming to rescue

United Nations' International Court of Justice ordering Myanmar to protect Rohingya Muslims may have been the sign of upholding morality yet the court's lack of legal power may not ensure full adherence to its publicly hailed order. The court asserted that Myanmar must "take all measures within its power" to prevent its military or others from carrying out genocidal acts against the Rohingya, who faced "real and imminent risk." Prompting the South Asian country to submit regular reports to the tribunal explaining what steps it had taken, the court placed Myanmar under its magnifying glass. Lacking enforcement powers, the burden to ensure falls on UN Security Council members who can raise a flag should they feel Myanmar lacking to abide by the ICJ's order. Myanmar's assurance of preventing any further harm to the remaining Rohingyas still residing in the fringes of the country as well as those who have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh and residing in the world's largest refugee camp will be subject to international pressure. A significant mention in the Myanmar hearing in ICJ is the petitioner nation — Gambia. It took a small west African nation to challenge the Myanmar Army's arbitrariness and fight for the rights of millions of Rohingyas who faced severe persecution in Myanmar's Rakhine province in 2017. The Myanmar government-appointed panel unveiled that "war crimes, serious human rights violations, and violations of domestic law took place during the security operations," but the same commission dismissed claims of finding any evidence of "genocidal intent" in the military's actions, which were in response to attacks by a rebel force, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army. There have been efforts to repatriate the Rohingya's settled in makeshift camps on the outskirt of Bangladesh but the fear of further persecution has largely curtailed the process. ICJ's order can alleviate the matter but Myanmar's obedience is crucial.

Myanmar's civilian leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi — a former human rights icon who received the Nobel Peace Prize — has been largely silent on the entire issue and her presence at the hearing also echoed the same. Myanmar's crisis requires urgent attention. The same has been demanded from the international community since flags were first raised about their persecution in 2017. The Rohingya issue amounts to a serious episode of human rights crisis and the global order ought to pursue the International Court of Justice's ruling. If the Rohingya crisis continues to grow, then it is a collective loss of conscience for the global order, as it is for Myanmar.

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