Rohingya Genocide: Myanmar’s Democracy Icon Defends Her Country Against Genocide Allegations

Written by | Friday, December 13th, 2019

In unprecedented move, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has defended Myanmar generals at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague over mass killings, rape and displacement of the Rohingya Muslim minority. The Gambia, a small West African country, filed the case at the ICJ, the United Nations’ highest court, alleging Myanmar violated the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. “The Gambia has placed an incomplete and misleading picture of the factual situation in Rakhine state,” the former human rights icon said at the UN’s top court on Wednesday (11 December].
In her speech at ICJ that lasted about 30 minutes, Suu Kyi alleged the situation in Rakhine state was “complex” while admitting the Rohingya minority was “suffering” when many of them had to flee to safety in neighboring Bangladesh. Acknowledging that the Myanmar army may have at times used “disproportionate force”, she also argued that this fact did not prove the generals were trying to wipe out the minority group – “surely under the circumstances, genocidal intent cannot be the only hypothesis.” The Nobel Peace Price winner said Myanmar’s army was merely responding to attacks by Rohingya “militants” and armed local groups, such as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), referring to a bloody crackdown in 2017 as an “internal conflict”.
Suu Kyi, who was earlier hailed as a leading human rights icon for her fight against her country’s powerful military junta, has shocked critics and galvanized supporters at home by travelling personally to The Hague to head her country’s delegation. Referring to her appearance at ICJ as “one of history’s shocking moments”, Maung Zarni, a UK-based scholar and activist was abhorred at “Suu Kyi denying and dismissing credible findings of genocide of Rohingyas by Myanmar.” This member of Myanmar’s Buddhist majority who hails from a military family also said that “as a Burmese I am so ashamed and outraged at the same time by what I am about to hear – lies and deceptions.” The hearing concludes on Thursday (12 December), but a final judgement could take several years.

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Asia-Pacific · GLOBAL EUROPE

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