Genocide Case: Bangladesh lauds Gambia's accountability efforts at ICJ

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Bangladesh has appreciated the accountability efforts at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) lodged by Gambia on crimes committed on Rohingyas allegedly with genocidal intent by Myanmar, reports UNB.

Dhaka underscored complementarities between accountability and creation of an atmosphere conducive to sustainable repatriation, said the foreign affairs ministry on Friday.

A Bangladesh delegation led by foreign secretary Md Shahidul Haque attended the hearings of the case filed by Gambia on behalf of 57 members of OIC against Myanmar.

Haque said prime minister Sheikh Hasina will continue to be sympathetic to Rohingyas because she has been a refugee twice in her life.

Principal staff officer of Armed Forces Division, PMO Lt Gen Mohammad Mahfuzur Rahman joined the Bangladesh delegation that included foreign affairs ministry secretary (Asia Pacific) Masud Bin Momen, Bangladesh high commissioner to Australia Sufiur Rahman, Bangladesh ambassador to Iran Gousal Azam Sarker, Bangladesh ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Muhammad Belal, foreign affairs ministry DG (UN) Nahida Sobhan, Director general, Armed Forces Division’s intelligence directorate DG Brig Gen Md Zahirul Islam, foreign affairs ministry DG Delwar Hossain, CTIB, DGFI Brig Gen Sheikh Mohammad Sarwar Hossain, director (Myanmar) Alauddin Bhuiyan, director (UN) Shahanara Monica and director (FSO) Md Alimuzzaman.

The hearing was held at the Peace Palace in The Hague on 10-12 December. The court was asked to accord provisional measures to bring relief to the Rohingya community and end the prevailing culture of impunity of the perpetrators in Myanmar.

More than 700,000 Rohingyas were forced to flee to Bangladesh after Myanmar launched a brutal offensive in the pretext of a counter-insurgency operation in the Rakhine state. Rohingyas and rights activists have accused Myanmar of murder, rape, torture, arson and loot - charges denied by the military.

Many have called it an ethnic cleansing campaign. In October, the head of a UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar warned that "there is a serious risk of genocide recurring".

The Bangladesh delegation provided inputs on the context of the crisis, clarifications on Bangladesh's efforts to repatriate forcibly displaced Rohingyas in safety, security and dignity.

On 10 December, the hearing started with Gambian lawyers presenting their case to the 15 judges of the ICJ.

On 11 December, Myanmar delegation led by Aung San Suu Kyi made their presentation while Gambian lawyers made their rebuttal to the presentations on 12 December.

In the afternoon, Myanmar made final observations and arguments.

On the sidelines of the court attendance, foreign secretary Haque met ICC officials. He also attended an event 'Right to Reply' organised by a group of INGOs and elaborated Bangladesh's position on the humanitarian assistance to the Rohingyas living in Cox's Bazar camps.

The event also recorded comments from Rohingyas residing in camps in Cox's Bazar through internet.

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