UN Security Council Fails to Agree on Statement Urging Myanmar to Follow ICJ Measures in Genocide Case

By The Irrawaddy 5 February 2020

YANGON—The UN Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday failed to agree on a statement calling on Myanmar to follow the International Court of Justice’s order to prevent killings and other atrocities against Rohingya Muslims.

On Tuesday, during a closed-door meeting of the UNSC, Myanmar’s ally China as well as Vietnam, which like Myanmar is a member of ASEAN, objected to the statement, The Associated Press reported, citing diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The ICJ in late January issued four urgent measures related to compliance with the Genocide Convention and the implementation of those measures.

The Gambia filed a case at the court in November on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation accusing Myanmar of committing genocide against the Rohingya. As the case could take years, The Gambia requested the court order preliminary measures against Myanmar.

More than 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh in late 2017 after the government’s security forces launched clearance operations in northern Rakhine State in response to a series of attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on police outposts.

UN investigators said the operations had “genocidal intent”. Both the Myanmar government and military have denied the accusations.

Despite the disagreement on Tuesday, the UNSC’s European Union members issued a joint statement urging Myanmar to comply with the ICJ’s provisional measures, which is required under international law.

“Accountability of perpetrators of human rights and humanitarian law violations is a necessary part of this process,” the statement says, while calling on Myanmar to “address the root causes of its conflicts, in Rakhine State, but also in Kachin and Shan States” as well as create conditions for the voluntary and safe return of the Rohingya to Myanmar.

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