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Countries Trying to Fight Rohingya Genocide Case at ICJ are silent on Gaza Genocide: Ravi Nair

Radiance New Service

Nov. 21: Five European nations including Canada joined the genocide case that accuses Myanmar of committing genocide against the Rohingya Muslims.

The United Nations’ highest court International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced on Thursday that Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Britain had submitted a joint statement of intervention in the case, which was brought by the Gambia in 2019.

“We want to make a contribution to clarifying and combating genocide. We are particularly focus on violence against women and children,” Tania von Uslar, Director-General for Germany’s Legal Affairs said in a post on X.

“The intervention of other countries in support of the Gambia strengthens the case, and increases the pressure on the Burmese military who are still committing genocide against Rohingya,” Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation said in a statement.

A U.N. fact-finding mission concluded that a 2017 military campaign by Myanmar that drove 730,000 Rohingya into neighbouring Bangladesh had included “genocidal acts”.

Myanmar has denied genocide, rejecting the U.N. findings as “biased and flawed”. It says its crackdown was aimed at Rohingya rebels who had carried out attacks.

Ravi Nair, Director of South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, while sharing his perspective on the development, told Radiance, “A few European countries, Denmark, France, Germany along with the United Kingdom, which is not presently an EU member, joined the Rohingya Genocide case brought by Gambia in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This is a belated recognition of the fast-changing ground situation in Myanmar. The Gambia case was filed in 2019.”

Nair further said, “The ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas started in 2017 in spite of the international sanctions policy against Myanmar; the EU ended its sanctions policy in 2013. Total trade between the EU and Myanmar amounted to €4.7 billion in 2022. In 2021, the EU ranked as Myanmar’s fourth-biggest trade partner (after China, Thailand and Singapore), accounting for 7.2% of the country’s total trade.”

“In 2022, the EU imported goods worth €4.3 billion from Myanmar. The key EU imports from Myanmar are dominated by textiles, manufactured goods, footwear and agricultural products.  In 2022, the EU exported goods worth almost €368 million to Myanmar. The key EU exports to Myanmar are dominated by machinery, transport equipment and chemical,” said Nair.

“The sudden activity by some European countries and Canada is not merely motivated by human rights or humanitarian concerns regarding the genocide against the Rohingya. Rather, it is primarily because the ethnic armed movements fighting the military junta have won some notable victories in the last few months. While the Chinese who have been the largest trading partner of Myanmar also seem to be hedging their bets on the longevity of the military junta. Much of the frontier areas between China and Myanmar are now under the control of the armed opposition groups to the Junta,” he argued.

“Funding for the Rohingyas in Bangladesh has seen “a downward trend since 2019,” but only began reaching critical levels in 2022, U.N. leaders say. Of the US $881 million sought by aid agencies and the Bangladeshi government from international donors, only 62 percent was fulfilled, according to the United Nations.

“So much for the concern of the Europeans and North Americans! And of course not a word from these worthies about the continuing genocide in Gaza,” said Nair.

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