The order came over a 2017 military crackdown that led to fleeing of over 7 lakh Rohingya Muslims into neighbouring Bangladesh.
The Hague|Top court on Thursday ordered Myanmar take all measures in its power to prevent genocide against the Rohingya. Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, the court’s president, said the International Court of Justice is of the opinion that “the Rohingya in Myanmar remain extremely vulnerable.”
The order was the first time that Myanmar has faced justice over the alleged genocide of the Buddhist nation’s minority Muslims.
A Myanmar commission had concluded a few days ago that some soldiers likely committed ‘war crimes’ against the minority group but that the military was not guilty of genocide.
The case was brought by Muslim African state of The Gambia against Myanmar with accusations of genocide after over 7 Lakh Rohingya fled over the border into Bangladesh. The Gambia alleges that Myanmar has breached the genocide convention, which was enacted after the Holocaust.
ICJ granted a series of emergency steps requested by the mainly The Gambia under the 1948 Genocide Convention.
The top court ordered Myanmar to prevent killing, and “causing serious bodily or mental harm” to members of the group, as well as preserving evidence of possible genocide that has already occurred.
In a unanimous ruling by a panel of 17 judges only dealt with Gambia’s request for so-called preliminary measures, the equivalent of a restraining order for states. There are still no indications of final decision on the military brutality which could take years.
The top court also ordered Myanmar to report in four months on the measures taken to comply with the order and then to report every six months as the case moved slowly through the international court.