International Court of Justice (ICJ)’s instructions to the Myanmar government regarding the genocide against the Rohingya community is a step in the right direction, writes Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz in a commentary published in the Daily Star. The court issued four directions to Myanmar in a response to a case filed by Gambia. Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim community in Myanmar, has been facing genocide since 2017. At least a million of them have taken refuge in Bangladesh and 600,000 are in a dire situation inside Myanmar. The ICJ imposed four provisional measures on the Myanmar government; these require the government to prevent genocidal acts, ensure the military and police forces do not commit genocide, preserve evidence of genocidal acts, and report back on its compliance within four months, then every six months afterwards. Riaz writes that the ICJ’s ruling of provisional measures shouldn’t make Bangladesh or the international community complacent, instead the international community should pressure to ensure safe and dignified return of the refugees.
Ali Riaz was also interviewed by Aljazeera on the issue of the ICJ rulings. Riaz told Al Jazeera the ICJ order was “a moral victory of humanity. It has practically proved that Myanmar has committed heinous crimes and is continuing a well-orchestrated policy of genocide against Rohingya,” he said. “It’s also a recognition of the Rohingya community’s existence.” Riaz pointed out that while ICJ has no mechanism to enforce its ruling on Myanmar, he urged the international community to “act now.”