ICJ Ruling – International Pressure Needed To Force Burma To Comply

Burma Campaign UK today welcomed a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for provisional measures to be taken by the government of Burma to prevent what the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar described as an ‘ongoing genocide.’

The Court has issued four provisional measures related to compliance with the Genocide Convention and implementation of those measures. Going further than the measures on reporting requested by The Gambia, the ICJ has ordered Burma to report measures on its compliance with provisional measures in four months and then every six months thereafter.

However, Burma Campaign UK is also concerned that given the tensions raised by Aung San Suu Kyi’s tactic of whipping up public support for defending the military against charges of genocide, there is a risk of incidents of violence against Rohingya, Muslims and international governments and agencies in the country.

The Gambia brought forward charges of genocide of the Rohingya to the International Court of Justice and the first hearings on provisional measures were held in December 2019. 60 countries have supported the case, including members of the OIC, Canada, The Netherlands and UK.

“The ICJ ruling is a major blow to Aung San Suu Kyi and her anti-Rohingya policies,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK. “The priority now is to apply pressure on Aung San Suu Kyi and the military to implement the Court’s decision. The chances of Aung San Suu Kyi implementing this ruling will be zero unless significant international pressure is applied. So far, the international community has not been willing to apply pressure on Aung San Suu Kyi over her own appalling record on human rights.”

Burma Campaign UK is also concerned that the government and military will target human rights activists and civil society organisations in Burma which backed the case. Both the government and the military have a track record of vindictive persecution of critics. Aung San Suu Kyi is currently keeping 240 political prisoners in jail, and almost 400 more are awaiting trial.

“The Gambia deserves a lot of credit for stepping up and leading international efforts for justice at a time when other governments, including members of the UN Security Council, failed in their duty to act,” said Anna Roberts.

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