DEPORTATION OF ROHINGYAS - ETHNIC CLEANSING OR GENOCIDE

They all risked their lives, and everything that belonged to them just to escape by sea, on foot or by any means. Thousands of Rohingyas are fleeing Myanmar, especially after the August 25th violence in Western parts of the nation. The military there is chiefly responsible for this deportation, resulting in thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing across the border into neighbouring countries like Bangladesh. Living in refugee camps and receiving insufficient food and nutritional supplements, The Rohingya refugee crisis is a right and humanitarian disaster. Often called the “The Worlds Persecuted Minority” or “ One of the most Discriminated People within the world” Rohingya are an ethnic Muslim group originating from the Rakhine state in Myanmar formerly known as Arakan. Being Myanmar’s least developed region, it houses more than 78% of people living below the poverty line. Approximately 1.1 million Rohingyas are said to live there. The Myanmar government denied recognition to the group and identified them as “illegal Bengali Immigrants” and the further denial of citizenship statuses or legal documentation effectively made them Stateless. More so, according to the Citizenship Law 1982, they were declared “Non-National” or ”Foreign Residents. Since the 1970s numerous crackdowns on the Rohingyas have forced thousands to flee to neighbouring countries. In 2012, some Rohingya Muslims were charged with gangrape and murder of a Buddhist woman in Rakhine, leading to disputes between the two communities. Soon after the incident, the Rohingyas were driven out from their homes, their lands were seized, and the military invaded their habitations. Human rights groups, such as the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said, operations by the Myanmar army involved arbitrary killings, systematic rapes, the burning of houses and the forced expulsions of locals. Another deadly incident in Rakhine began on 25 August 2017 after Rohingya Arsa militants launched attacks on over 30 police posts. During such crackdowns, refugees have often reported rape, torture, arson, murder and burning of their villages by Myanmar security forces. According to the United Nations Human Rights Council, more than 1,68,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar since 2012 and have infamously earned the title of the” Boat People''. At least 6,700 Rohingya, including roughly 730 youngsters younger than the age of five, were killed in the month after the savagery broke out. Furthermore, the government only acknowledges Boyingyas, i.e. Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhist as the proper Myanmar population. Undoubtedly, the Rohingyas lack legal protection from the government and are usually regarded as Muslim refugees from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Hindu refugees from Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, facing intense hostility in the country. The extensive numbers of refugees first fled towards Bangladesh as they spoke Bengali. Bangladesh hosts the highest number of Rohingya refugees in the world. Despite their authorities being lenient, the increasing number of the immigrants in March 2019 forced them to stop all kinds of assistance to Rohingyas. Post this, they headed towards Thailand and Malaysia, where they were provided with food and medication. In both countries, the government did not allow them to stay in their territories. To make matters worse, Indonesia also blocked all entrance points for Rohingyas. After all this, they turned towards India. Around 40,000 Rohingyas are living in India, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs. They are said to have entered into northeast India through various routes, spread across states like Assam, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. The greatest centralization of Rohingyas is accounted to be in Jammu as indicated by public authority and around 5,700 Rohingyas living in and around Jammu. They avoided staying near Myanmar's borders. Most Persecuted Minority in the World- UN: A UN fact-finding mission which investigated the allegations found such compelling evidence that it said the Burmese army must be investigated for Genocide against Rohingya Muslim In Rakhine. Myanmar Rohingya crackdown: ‘A textbook example of ethnic cleansing’, says UN. What is the Rohingya Genocide Case? CASE: The Gambia v. Myanmar COURT: International Court of Justice CITATION{S}: Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. On 11 November 2019, the Gambia stopped a 45-page application with the ICJ against Myanmar. The application claimed that Myanmar had committed mass homicide, assault and decimation of networks against the Rohingyas in the Rakhine state since around October 2016 and that these activities abuse the slaughter show. The ICJ held a formal conference on that demand for three days, 10-12 December 2019. Gambia lodged this case against Myanmar according to the treaty (CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION AND PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE). 152 states signed this treaty in December 2019 and Gambia and Myanmar both were members of the convention. According to Article 3 of the convention, Gambia has put a few claims on Myanmar namely: that Rohingyas have faced serious killing of individuals, genuine bodily and mental damages and intentionally delivering on the group states of life determined to achieve its actual devastation in entire or in parts. “Application instituting proceeding and request for provisional measures” at ICJ against the republic of the Union of Myanmar looking for exceptional measures to secure the Rohingyas until the destruction or massacre case is heard in full. Furthermore, stop violence on Rohingyas in Myanmar by forcing temporary measures, and these will be lawfully authoritative. Myanmar responded to the Gambia by attending the proceeding conducted by the ICJ. The leader of Myanmar was present in that proceeding, however, the leader didn't need to be present, it can also be attended by the senior diplomat of Foreign Ministry. During the procedure, Aung San Suu Kyi had been broadly censured for remaining generally quiet on allegations of hostility to Rohingya Violence. She faced a predicament as a human right symbol known universally; it is her obligation to speak loudly on the side of the Rohingyas. She was quiet because Myanmar is a Buddhist nation and as a leader, she did not want to lose the support of the Buddhists majority by standing for the benefit of Rohingyas, and she did not have control over the army. However, civil leadership is also complicated according to the UN Investigator. But, what is Myanmar’s Defence against the case? Aung San Suu Kyi said that the charges of Genocide are misleading because “cycles of intercommunal violence” in Myanmar date “back to the 1940s”. She argued that the military action in the Rakhine state was an anti-terrorism campaign against a violent Rohingya extremist group and if soldiers had committed war crimes they would be prosecuted. On 23 January 2020, the ICJ issued an order on The Gambia’s request for temporary measures within a week. The order “indicated” provisional measures ordering Myanmar to prevent Genocidal acts against the Rohingya Muslims during the pendency of the case. The court issued a procedural order on the same date, setting filing deadlines of 23 July 2020 for ( THE GAMBIA MEMORIAL ) Similarly, an extension was granted to Myanmar set on 23 July 2021. But what if the decision came against the Myanmar government? Can Syu Kyi and the military leaders be put behind bars by the ICJ? So, the simple answer is NO because ICJ lacks a coercive mechanism to enforce its judgements. The United Nations Security Council can compel the states to follow the court's ruling. There are issues with this method of enforcement. The ICJ cannot force any country to follow their decision, so they can approach UNSC but they have their politics of having VETO power. However, if such a resolution against Myanmar is served before the UNSC, China will support Myanmar because of their strong relations. What needs to be driven home is the fact that the basic needs of refugees have not been met to sufficient extents. They are living in camps not receiving basic amenities. Overall important factors are required to be taken care of to improve the quality of life for the entire community.

24 views1 comment