Dhaka backs ICC, ICJ processes 

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 00:07, Dec 03,2019


The International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice would get support of the Bangladesh government in ensuring accountability on the crimes committed against the Rohingya people, foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque said on Sunday in Dhaka.

‘Bangladesh has been extensively in the loop of the ICJ process after Gambia lodged a case on behalf of the OIC and we’ve signed a memorandum of understanding with the ICC,’ he said at a briefing with the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh.  

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed instruments on repatriating the Rohingya people and the government would also continue to support the accountability mechanism, he said, adding, ‘repatriation and accountability complement each other.’

The ICC on November 14 authorised its prosecutor to proceed with a formal investigation into the alleged crimes committed against the Rohingya people of Myanmar.

In an immediate reaction, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that crimes committed against Rohingya people on or after June 1, 2010 would come under purview of the investigation according to the court decision.

The ICC became the second international court to look into the alleged atrocities against the Rohingya after African country Gambia lodged a case with the ICJ – the UN’s top court on disputes between and among member states – against Myanmar on allegation of carrying out genocide against the Muslim minority group.

More than 7,00,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh after fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by the Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing and genocide, beginning from August 25, 2017.

Meanwhile the UNHCR and the government failed in their first attempt to send back the first batch of Rohingyas on November 15 last year as none of them agreed to go back referring to absence of environment for return in Rakhine.

The ongoing Rohingya influx took the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to about 1.2 million so far, according to estimates by UN agencies and Bangladesh authorities.

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