Myanmar’s Accountability:The Netherlands commits to ensuring it | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 20, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:41 AM, October 20, 2020

Myanmar’s Accountability:The Netherlands commits to ensuring it

The Netherlands has expressed its strong commitment to ensuring accountability of Myanmar, which is accused of committing genocide against the Rohingyas, at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Dutch Ambassador Harry Verweij handed a letter, written in this regard by their Foreign Minister Stef Blok, to Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen during a call on at the state guesthouse Padma in the capital on Sunday.

It comes just before the Gambia is scheduled to file its full submission of memorial on the Rohingya genocide case to the ICJ, the top UN court headquartered at The Hague.

In a joint statement on September 2, Canada and the Netherlands had made a commitment to providing overall cooperation supporting the Gambia's case against Myanmar at the ICJ.

They also expressed their joint intention to intervene in the matter of The Gambia versus Myanmar, a contentious case alleging violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention).

The case was filed against Myanmar's treatment of the Rohingyas, including mass killings, rapes, and destruction of their homes that forced some 750,000 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh in 2017.

The Rohingyas, who were denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, faced many other basic rights violations and discriminatory policies which caused influxes of the Myanmar's ethnic community people to Bangladesh.

Following a public hearing on The Gambia's case on December 10-12 last year, the ICJ in January this year issued an order asking Myanmar to take provisional measures to prevent genocidal acts against the Rohingya Muslims during the pendency of the case, and to report regularly on its implementation of the order.

The court also set a deadline for The Gambia's memorial submission on October 23 this year, while Myanmar's date for submission was set on July 23, 2021.

The Netherland's letter assuring its determination to support the Gambia's case ahead of its submission of the memorial is significant, said a diplomatic source in Dhaka.

"The Netherlands has a tradition of dealing with international law and working against international crimes. Therefore, the country has taken a strong position against the genocidal acts by Myanmar," the source said.

During the call on, Harry Verweij also assured the Bangladesh foreign minister of continuing humanitarian assistance for some one million Rohingyas living in the camps in Cox's Bazar. He stressed on justice and accountability for a sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis.

Momen said Bangladesh was focusing on safe and sustainable repatriation of  Rohingyas.

He requested the Netherlands to coordinate with the European Union member countries and create a conducive environment back in Rakhine state for the return of Rohingyas.

 

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