By Omar Bah
Former Justice minister Abubacarr Tambadou has been named in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People List 2020.
Time is an American weekly news magazine and news website published and based in New York City.
Tambadou, who has since joined the United Nations won global admiration when he took Myanmar to the International Court of Justice over atrocities committed by that country’s security forces against the Rohingya community.
While countries like China have covered for its neighbour and Western governments issued only half-hearted condemnations, Tambadou,?47, a former prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was not cowed.
Moved by his 2018 visit to a refugee camp in Bangladesh where he heard the haunting testimonies of Rohingya survivors, Tambadou and the Gambia Government brought a case before the International Court of Justice, accusing Myanmar of perpetrating genocide.
In January 2020 they won an extraordinary initial ruling against Myanmar and its leader (and courtroom defender) Aung San Suu Kyi, as the judges ordered that Myanmar “take all measures within its power” to stop violent attacks against the Rohingya while the court continues to investigate the country’s past actions.
Tambadou had said at the time he wished outsiders had exerted more pressure during those dark days. But mainly, he says, because it is right: “International law is not the exclusive preserve of the rich and powerful countries… you do not have to have military power or economic power to stand for justice or stand for what is right. We are doing this in the name of humanity.”