Suu Kyi leads Myanmar's defence of Rohingya genocide at UN court today

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Dec 11, 2019, 03.10 PM(IST) Edited By: Bharat Sharma

File photo of Aung San Suu Kyi. Photograph:( DNA )

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Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate arrived at the World Court today, to assert Myanmar's defence against the alleged genocide of Rohingya Muslims

Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate arrived at the World Court today, to assert Myanmar's defence against the alleged genocide of Rohingya Muslims.

The case against Myanmar was launched by the Gambia, a small West African country. It was taken up at the International Court of Justice, the United Nations' highest court. According to the Gambia, Myanmar violated the 1948 Genocide Convention.

Yesterday, Suu Kyi listened on as lawyers for Gambia detailed graphic testimony of suffering of Rohingya at the hands of the Myanmar military.

Suu Kyi travelled to The Hague to present her country's stance. According to her office, she was going to "defend the national interest".

The Gambia made its case for the close relationship between Suu Kyi and her country's military by sharing a picture of her with government ministers - Lieutenant-General Ye Aung, Lieutenant General Sein Win and Lieutenant General Kyaw Swe.

The hearing will span for three days with the first phase being about ''provisional measures'' - a somewhat equivalent of a restraining order against Myanmar. 

Although Suu Kyi has not revealed details of her government's defence, she and her legal team are expected to argue that the court lacks jurisdiction and that no genocide has taken place in Myanmar.

The Gambia has argued it is every country's duty under the convention to prevent a genocide from taking place. The Gambia has political support from the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Canada and the Netherlands.

More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar after the military launched a crackdown in western Rakhine state in August 2017. Most now live in crowded refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Myanmar argues the military "clearance operations" in Rakhine were a justifiable response to acts of terrorism.

(With inputs from Reuters)