In a unanimous decision, the International Court of Justice ordered Myanmar to carry out emergency, “provisional” measures to protect its Rohingya population from genocidal violence and preserve evidence of alleged crimes against them. There is no denying that the ICJ does not have the authority to enforce the ruling, nevertheless, this is indeed a derogatory statement against all the atrocities that Myanmar have done against the Rohingya people.
Bangladesh owes a deep debt of gratitude to The Gambia for bringing Rohingya genocide to the attention of the ICJ. For the longest time, not only has Myanmar denied its role in the persecution of the Rohingya -- what the ICJ deems to have been with “genocidal intent” -- its denial has been supported all too often by the silence of the international community.
We envisage that this decision will pave
the way towards the Security Council
which can be more proactive in its
approach towards holding Myanmar to account
Sadly, some of these atrocities could have been prevented, had the international community acted faster to protect the Rohingyas.However, this verdict, which Gambia brought to the ICJ’s attention, might have far-reaching consequences. We envisage that this decision will pave the way towards the Security Council which, unlike the ICJ, can be more proactive in its approach towards holding Myanmar to account.
Despite the fact that the ruling dealt only with the Gambia’s request for so-called preliminary measures, the equivalent of a restraining order for states—not the court’s final decision—it nevertheless could pave the way for Myanmar to finally be held accountable for its atrocities against the Rohingyas. Now that what Bangladesh has been saying has found a voice at the World Court, we once again appeal to the entire world to gear up its effort to extend necessary support to Bangladesh in protecting the Rohingyas, and to hold Myanmar accountable for its crimes that must not be ignored anymore.