Overseas based Burma ethnic alliance and coalition groups issued statements welcoming Gambia’s lawsuit to the International Court of Justice for genocide against the Rohingya by the Burmese government.
Mahn Kyaw Swe, president of the Canadian Burma Ethnic Nationalities Organization (CBENO) said the aim of their statement is to support the international community’s actions to bring the Burmese military to justice, and make them accountable for their crimes against humanity.
Mahn Kyaw Swe said that like Rohingya, other ethnic nationalities of Burma also suffer from serious and persistent violations of basic human rights, and are subjected to violent persecution.
“The recent Rohingya case was exposed to the world with concrete evidences,” Mahn Kyaw Swe said; “on behalf of ethnic nationalities in Burma, we want the world to know that similar cases are also taking place in other ethnic nationalities region in Burma.”
The Canadian Burma Ethnic Nationalities Organization (CBENO) together with the Nationalities Alliance of Burma (USA), and Coalition of Burma Ethnics, Malaysia (COBEM) put out a statement on November 18, 2019 welcoming the move.
The joint statement said, “it is common practice by the Burmese military to conduct arbitrary arrests and detention, brutal beatings and torture, sexual assaults and rape, land confiscations, and indiscriminate killings against vulnerable ethnic nationalities in ethnic regions.”
The Burma Campaign UK put out a statement on November 13, welcoming the ICJ lawsuit and the filing by Burmese Rohingya Organization (UK) in an Argentinian court a case of genocide against the military and government in Burma.
The Burma Campaign UK called on the British government to support the case of genocide against Burma at the ICJ.
Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK quoted in the statement said; “These legal cases will help put the military on notice that they cannot continue to evade justice and accountability for their crimes. The British government must now support the genocide case at the International Court of Justice.”
Burma President’s office responded to the filing of the case issuing a statement on November 20, announcing State Counsellor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, is to lead the defence at the ICJ.
The government’s statement, refused to use ‘Rohingya’ and referred to them as “displaced persons from the Rakhine State.”
The government’s statement confirmed Aung San Suu Kyi would led the defence, “The State Counsellor, in her capacity as Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, will lead a team to The Hague, Netherlands, to defend the national interest of Myanmar at ICJ.”
Mahn Kyaw Swe said that it is important the government takes responsibility and fully cooperates with the United Nation mechanism.
“The government needs to take responsibility and deal with the case based on the interest of the people. There will be consequences that will hurt the people, if there are economic sanctions or other measures imposed on the country.”
According to a press release on the ICJ website on November 18 2019, the court is to hold the first public hearings on the case from Tuesday 10 to Thursday 12 December 2019.