UN Photo/ICJ-CIJ/Frank van Beek

Why The Gambia is Suing Myanmar for The Rohingya Genocide

The small west African country of the Gambia has lodged a suit at the International Court of Justice against Myanmar for committing a genocide against the Rohingya people.

The Rohingya are an ethnic and religious minority in Myanmar who have long faced discrimination and persecution. But it was not until the summer and fall of 2017 that this persecution became a mass atrocity event —  and arguably a genocide. Some 700,000 Rohingya fled violence in this time, and now more than a million live as refugees in neighboring Bangladesh.

Justice for the Rohingya victims of genocide has so far been elusive. But this action at the International Court of Justice, which is a UN body based in the Hague, could be a significant turning point.

On the line with me to discuss the significance of this lawsuit is Param-Preet Singh, associate director of Human Rights Watch in the International Justice Program. In our conversation she explains what exactly this law suit alleges, why Gambia is the country bringing the suit, and how this action advances the cause of justice for victims of crimes against humanity.

We kick off with a brief discussion of the International Court of Justice and how the judicial process at the ICJ works.

If you have 20 minutes and want to learn the geopolitics of this action and how it may advance the cause of justice for victims of genocide and mass atrocity, have a listen.


Get the Global Dispatches podcast

Apple Podcasts  | Google PodcastsSpotify  |  Stitcher  | Radio Public