Gambia gets UK support in Rohingya genocide case


By Alagie Manneh

More than 100 UK MPs have called on their government to support the genocide case filed by The Gambia at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Myanmar.

“Ending impunity is essential not only to ensure justice and uphold international law, but also to deter further international crimes by the military in Myanmar,” according to a letter to the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Dominic Raab, issued on December 17.


UK MPs Rushnara Ali and Jeremy Hunt, co-chairs of All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Rights of the Rohingya, signed the letter on behalf of 104 UK MPs, who said: “We are convinced that if the United Kingdom joins the case, it will bring significant added value, both legally and symbolically.

“The UK is responsible for overseeing Myanmar’s affairs in the UN Security Council and if it does not join the case, it will inadvertently send a wrong message to the Myanmar military.”

In the letter, they added that the impact of the case was already starting to be felt, as the court agreed with The Gambia that the Rohingya were victims of genocide.

Seventeen judges agreed with the decision, with lawmakers saying the Security Council’s recommendation could not be sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC) because of opposition from China and Russia.

“For that reason, joining The Gambia is now the best way to ensure accountability and justice,” the December 17 letter stated.

In August 2017, the Myanmar army intensified pre-planned and structured violence against the Rohingya in the Rakhine State of Myanmar. More than 700,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh. The Gambia filed a lawsuit in the ICJ on November 2019, calling the atrocity a “genocide.”