EU asks for UNSC referral on Rohingya issue to ICC

Diplomatic Correspondent . Dhaka | Update:

Fatou Bensouda speaks at a session of ICC. Photo: Prothom AloThe United Nations Security Council should refer the atrocities committed against the Rohingyas by the Myanmar army to the International Criminal Court (ICC), said European Union on Wednesday.

The EU made the demand at the ICC where 123 state parties gathered for their 17th assembly in The Hague.

The state parties made their position on Myanmar clear on the very first (inaugural) day, even though the assembly is scheduled to continue for over a week, according to a press statement.

“There was a forceful demand from the international community to address the atrocities committed against the Rohingyas from Rakhine state of Myanmar. The EU, on behalf of all 28 member states, went on to demand the UNSC’s referral to the ICC,” the note pointed out.

A number of other state parties such as Austria, France, Sweden, and Liechtenstein expressed grave concerns over the crimes committed against Rohingyas.

They encouraged the states concerned to cooperate with the ICC to ensure accountability of the perpetrators for the displacement of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

More than 730,000 Rohingyas fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state in the wake of a brutal army crackdown in August 2017, the UN agencies observed. The Rohingyas are now living in crowded Bangladeshi refugee camps.

“It may be noted that Myanmar, for the first time, made an application to the ICC requesting participation in the ICC assembly despite not being a signatory to the Rome statute. Myanmar’s presence is seen as an outcome of growing international pressure against Myanmar,” the statement added.

International community is hopeful that the ICC investigation will eventually help bringing accountability and justice to the Rohingyas, it also added.

The office of prosecutor of the ICC, releasing its annual report earlier in the day confirmed that the situation in Bangladesh and Myanmar has been “under preliminary examination” since 18 September 2018.

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