Thursday, January 24, 2019 | ePaper

Allow ICC to conduct a probe into Myanmar's brutality

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THE Aung San Suu Kyi's government expressed "serious concern" on Friday over a move by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor seeking jurisdiction over alleged deportations of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The ICC charter does not say that the court has jurisdiction over states which have not accepted that charter. Furthermore, the 1969 UN Vienna Convention on International Treaties states that no treaty can be imposed on a country that has not ratified it, the Myanmar government said in its statement.
Since August, nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar. The United States and the United Nations have described the situation as ethnic cleansing. Myanmar has denied the allegations, saying it waged a legitimate counter-insurgency operation following the attacks of Rohingya militants on more than two dozen police posts and an army base.
In Friday's statement, the prosecutor's office said the fact that Bensouda was seeking a judicial opinion whether the ICC had jurisdiction over alleged Rohingya deportations. Myanmar is not a member of the ICC. But Bangladesh is an ICC member. According to the prosecutor's office, an essential element of the alleged crime takes place on the territory of Bangladesh.
These audacities are nothing new. The Myanmar government engages in a tit for tat with an international organisation and fights a war over the usage of words while the ground reality remains unchanged. In no situation in history has over a million people taken refuge in another country unless there is something seriously wrong with their own country.
The Myanmar government's action to sow fear and terror have wrought the desired result and encouraged the Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh. It has marginalised and circumscribed the Rohingyas in every way possible, and when the Rohingyas strike out in fear and terror label them as terrorist groups. It is akin to the situation where a man killed both his parents and then threw himself to the mercy of the court as he was an orphan.
Bangladesh is now facing an acute crisis as no other country takes the Rohingyas -- even India pushed them back from their shores. We hope, the global community would play a key role as ICC could conduct an extensive probe into Myanmar's brutalities against Rohingyas.

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