UN court hearings set to resume into Rohingya genocide case

The Hague: An international case accusing Myanmar of genocide against the Rohingya ethnic minority returns to the United Nations' highest court Monday amid questions over whether the country's military rulers should even be allowed to represent the Southeast Asian nation.

Four days of public hearings at the International Court of Justice start Monday into Myanmar's preliminary objections to the case that was brought by Gambia, an African nation acting on behalf of an organization of Muslim nations that accuses Myanmar of genocide in its crackdown on the Rohingya.

In August 2017, Myanmar's military launched what it called a clearance campaign in Rakhine state in the country's west in response to an attack by a Rohingya insurgent group.

The campaign forced more than 700,000 Rohingya to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh and led to accusations that security forces committed mass rapes and killings and burned thousands of homes.

Gambia argues that the campaign amounted to a breach of the genocide convention and wants the court to hold the country responsible.

The figurehead who led Myanmar's legal team in court last time there were public hearings in the case the nation's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi is in prison after being convicted on what supporters call trumped up charges.

Opponents of Myanmar's military rulers say they have appointed two officials to the country's legal team at the U.N. top court who are the subject of international sanctions.

Critics of the military rulers say that the National Unity Government a shadow civilian administration should be representing the country at hearings in The Hague.

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