POST TIME: 25 January, 2020 00:00 00 AM
Myanmar must get its act together

Myanmar must get its act together

The UN top court’s order urging Myanmar to take all measures in its power to prevent genocide against the Rohingya and declaration that the court at The Hague has indeed jurisdiction to try Myanmar for the alleged crime came Thursday as an assurance that Rohingya population will finally get justice for the sufferings they have endured. The ruling is legally binding for Myanmar. But as the court has no mechanism for enforcing its ruling, it is very difficult to see authorities in Myanmar would straightway follow the order.

Myanmar already denied yesterday that there has been any genocide in Rakhine. It can afford to show defiance because the Myanmar authorities know that the country can get away with the crime against the Rohingya community. If China and Russia, two veto wielding nations at United Nations Security Council, backs Myanmar at the UNSC, this body would not be able to force Myanmar to obey the court order or any other resolution it may take.

Myanmar is now under pressure because the ICJ’s order “creates international legal obligations” on it. The countries that supported it for the commission of crime so far would also feel the same pressure. That indeed will constitute a victory for the persecuted community.

Besides ordering Myanmar for taking provisional measures for preventing genocide, the court also urged the country to prevent destruction of evidence related to the alleged genocide. The court also observed that it was not satisfied with Myanmar’s efforts to facilitate return of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh. All these will certainly have tremendous bearing in the whole affair of the crisis in the future days.

On the part of Bangladesh, it must now mount its diplomatic pressure on Myanmar so that it starts a fresh attempt of repatriation and make it successful. In the past, the repatriation attempt failed a couple of times because Rohingyas did not find the atmosphere in Rakhine safe for return. The international community must continue to exert more pressure on Myanmar until the final verdict of ICJ on the matter comes.