The Financial Express

Diplomatic offensive crucial to reaping benefits: Analysts

Rohingya refugees hail ICJ ruling

Mir Mostafizur Rahaman | Published: January 25, 2020 13:12:50 | Updated: January 25, 2020 16:56:57

File photo (Collected) File photo (Collected)

Bangladesh should step up its diplomatic efforts to reap the dividend from the verdict of top UN court, foreign relations analysts say.

While the order by the International Court of Justice, or ICJ, is the first step towards a long legal process, Bangladesh can now convince the countries that back Myanmar about Rohingya repatriation, former foreign secretary Touhid Hossain told the FE.

Professor of international relations at Dhaka University Dr Imtiaz Ahmed said this order will keep the Myanmar government under pressure and Bangladesh should maximise its efforts so that it can be materialised, helping kick-start the repatriation process.

Echoing experts, foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen said the ICJ order will put pressure on the Myanmar government.

"For us, the challenge now is to take advantage of it," he said.

Saying that the ICJ order will as a "morale booster," Mr Momen said it will also encourage the Rohingya to go back home.

He said Bangladesh is keeping close contact with the friends of Myanmar, including China, Japan and India, so that the crisis can be resolved as soon as possible.

On Thursday night, permanent representative to the UN Rabab Fatima told reporters in New York that Bangladesh will be active in highlighting the Rohingya crisis in the international arena to ensure quick and safe repatriation of the refugees.

Meanwhile, the Rohingya living in Cox's Bazar refugee camps expressed their jubilation over the order of the international court.

"We have been telling the world that the Rohingya were the victims of genocide by Myanmar in Rakhine. Now it has been recognised by the ICJ order," said Hamid a registered Rohingya refugee of the Kutupalong camp.

According to our correspondent in Cox's Bazar, hundreds of Rohingya gathered in different places of the camps to watch television news to hear the order.

General secretary of the Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights Syed Abdur Razzak said the world acknowledged that genocide took place in Rakhine against humanity.

Aung San Suu Kyi should be ashamed of her effort to pursue the ICJ to reject the case against Myanmar in connection with the genocide in Rakhine, he added.

Refugees' relief and repatriation commissioner Mahbub Alam Talukder said this is a great recognition.

He added that it would encourage the Rohingya to return home, though they were previously unwilling to do so for fear of fresh persecution.

In a landmark order, the ICJ on Thursday unanimously asked Myanmar to take 'provisional measures' to protect the Rohingya people's lives and property.

The court turned down Myanmar's appeal to remove the case against it filed by Gambia in connection with "genocide against the Rohingya in Myanmar" from the list.

On 11 November 2019, the Republic of The Gambia filed in the Registry of the Court an application instituting proceedings against Myanmar concerning alleged violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Aung San Suu Kyi herself defended her government during the three-day hearing before the ICJ judges on the provisional measures in The Hague.

In its order, the ICJ said, "The Republic of Myanmar shall ... take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this Convention, in particular ..."


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