Gambia will be filing a case against Myanmar to the International Court of Justice to face charges of genocide against its minority Rohingya community in the Asian country, Attorney General and Minister for Justice Abubacarr Tambadou announced at a conclave at the Hague.
The charges, which will be filed by the Gambian Ministry of Justice’s legal team, will be the first time the Myanmar authorities will be accused of the crime of genocide at the International Court of Justice.
“I can confirm that on October 4th, I have instructed our lawyers to file the case at the International Court of Justice to file the case at the International Court of Justice,” said Abubacarr M. Tambadou in a statement seen in Banjul on Saturday.
“I could smell the stench of genocide from miles away when I visited the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar. It was all too familiar for me, after a decade of interacting with the victims of the Rwandan mass rapes, killings and genocide,” he added.
Tambadou previously served as a special assistant to the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
The crimes committed against the Rohingya people, he added, illustrate the failure of the international community to prevent genocide, 75 years after it committed itself to the ‘never again’ promise at the Nuremberg Trials.
The Conclave on Justice and Accountability for the Rohingya on 18 October 2019 was co-convened by the Asia Justice Coalition and the Centre of Peace and Justice at BRAC University in Dhaka.
The Conclave was hosted at the Hague by the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University.
Speakers at the Conclave included Bob Rae, Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, who affirmed the need to hold the country accountable for crimes against the Rohingya.
More than 100 participants took part in the Conclave, including senior government officials, leading international human rights lawyers, human rights activists, and leaders of the Rohingya community, to discuss issues of justice and accountability for the crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingya.