The small west African nation of The Gambia has filed a lawsuit at the UN’s top court formally accusing Myanmar of genocide against Rohingya Muslims.
It was filed at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which normally rules on disputes between states.
Myanmar’s government denies its troops carried out such crimes.
Thousands of Rohingya were killed and more than 700,000 fled to neighbouring Bangladesh during an army crackdown in the Buddhist-majority country in 2017.
The UN’s Independent International Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar said in August 2018 that the army’s tactics were “grossly disproportionate to actual security threats” and that “military necessity would never justify killing indiscriminately, gang raping women, assaulting children, and burning entire villages.”
Myanmar rejected the report. It has consistently said its operations targeted militant or insurgent threats.
Last year prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) – which would normally investigate allegations of war crimes as opposed to the ICJ – opened a preliminary inquiry into Myanmar’s alleged crimes against its Rohingya Muslim minority.
But the fact that Myanmar has not signed up to the ICC…