Presiding judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (C) and other judges take their seats at the International Court in The Hague on Thursday. AP
Mostly Muslim Gambia launched a lawsuit in November at the United Nations' highest body for disputes between states, accusing Myanmar of genocide against Rohingya in violation of a 1948 convention.
Thursday's ruling dealt only with Gambia's request for so-called preliminary measures, the equivalent of a restraining order for states. While the court's final decision could take years to reach, the 17 judge panel made clear in a unanimous ruling that the court believes the Rohingya are in danger now, and steps must be taken to protect them.
The Rohingya remain "at serious risk of genocide," presiding Judge Abdulqawi Yusuf said, reading a summary the decision. Myanmar shall "take all measures within its power to prevent all acts" prohibited under the 1948 Genocide Convention, the ruling said. Myanmar must report back within four months.
It ordered the government of Myanmar to exercise influence over its military and other armed groups to prevent "killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to the members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life intended to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part."
More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar after a military-led crackdown in 2017, and were forced into squalid camps across the border in Bangladesh. UN investigators concluded that the military campaign had been executed with "genocidal intent.”
The World Court's rulings are final and without appeal, although it has no real way of enforcing them.
"The court is of the opinion that the Rohingya in Myanmar remain extremely vulnerable," said Yusuf, the presiding judge.
"Moreover, the court is of the opinion that the steps which claimed to have taken to facilitate the return of Rohingya refugees present in Bangladesh, to promote ethnic reconciliation, peace and stability in Rakhine State, and to make its military accountable for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, do not appear sufficient."
More than 100 Myanmar civil society groups published a statement saying they hoped international justice efforts would "bring forth the truth" and end impunity.
"Political and military policies have always been imposed with violent force and intimidation upon the people of Myanmar, systematically and institutionally, on the basis of their political and religious beliefs and ethnic identities and continue until the present," the statement said.
"We understand very clearly that the ICJ case against Myanmar is directed towards those responsible for using political power and military might, and not to the people of Myanmar."Reuters
If there is one breed of people whose position shows no sign of improvement, it is the refugees. Be it in Bangladesh or Lebanon, their predicament seems precarious as they get tossed around from place to place – homeless, hapless, helpless.
The fact-finding mission to Myanmar, set up by the Human Rights Council, last year branded the army operations in 2017 as "genocide" and called for the prosecution of top generals, including army chief Min Aung Hlaing.
Human rights groups have long campaigned for the nearly half a million effectively stateless Rohingya children in Bangladesh’s refugee camps to be allowed access to quality education, warning of the costs of a "lost generation."
The trio, whose names were leaked in the Swedish press ahead of the announcement, succeeded in producing these tiny components, that "now spread their light from televisions and LED lamps, and can also guide surgeons when they remove tumour tissue, among many other things," the jury said.
Early voting on whether to recognise Indigenous Australians in the constitution and create a "Voice to Parliament" to give them an avenue to advise the government on matters affecting First Nations Australians began on Monday.
The client reportedly obtained financing for investment certificates and agreed to pay it in monthly installments. He also obtained a credit card with a monthly salary guarantee, but he did not commit to repaying it.
Koinu is expected to make landfall on Taiwan's southeastern coast near the city of Taitung on Thursday morning as a category three typhoon, but then weaken as it crosses the island's southern tip and enters the Taiwan Strait, according to Tropical Storm Risk.