POST TIME: 9 December, 2019 01:07:56 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 December, 2019 01:04:13 PM
Dhaka sees ray of hope

Dhaka sees ray of hope

These file photos taken in late 2017 show (top) a house burns in Gawdu Tharya village near Maungdaw in Rakhine state in northern Myanmar, and displaced Rohingyas walk towards Balukhali camp in Ukhia upazila of Cox’s Bazar after crossing the border. AFP photos

The upcoming three-day-long hearings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) beginning on December 10 could pave the way for the repatriation of Rohingyas from Bangladesh to their homeland.

The government and experts hope the ICJ will impose some “provisional measures” pressuring Myanmar to begin the repatriation process. They expect that such measures would build trust among Rohingyas, as representatives of the beleaguered group will be observing the proceedings at the ICJ premises in the Hague.

Experts emphasised that trust-building between Myanmar and Bangladesh and between Myanmar and Rohingyas is the most significant aspect for smoothing the road for the repatriation of refugees who have been displaced from Rakhine State.

They said that over the last year, the trust-building between Myanmar and Bangladesh witnessed several setbacks as Myanmar alleged that the repatriation process had been delayed because of Bangladesh. Dhaka vehemently protested against these allegations, stating that the country is eager to commence the repatriation of Rohingyas and asking

Myanmar not to spread lies. It is Myanmar which is impeding the repatriation, the foreign ministry said, adding that Myanmar had neither created a conducive environment over the last two years nor taken any significant measures to build trust among its own people who had fled to Bangladesh.

As a result, the two attempts to repatriate Rohingyas were thwarted.

Despite living in congested camps, the refugees lacked the confidence to return to their homeland.

Experts said the ICJ hearing on the accusation of genocide against Myanmar this week could be monumental as the court is expected to present some “provisional measures”.

If any such measures are imposed by the ICJ, Myanmar will be compelled to follow them as the country had signed the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in December 1949 and ratified it in March 1956. All member states of the convention are dutybound to prevent and punish genocide.

All eyes are now on the ICJ hearings on the lawsuit filed by the Gambia, a Muslim West African country, in November over the international genocide unleashed by Myanmar.

Any lawsuit over genocide at the ICJ is a long procedure which lasts years. But the ICJ may impose “provisional measures” beforehand if it deems such measures necessary.

Myanmar’s civilian leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday departed for the ICJ to defend her country against charges that genocide had been unleashed against Rohingyas. Before leaving for the Hague, she met Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, who is on an official visit to Myanmar.

Also read: Barrage of challenges as Myanmar faces ICJ