Some of the member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation have started contributing to a fund created by the organisation for the legal battle over the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar.
Bangladesh, Suadia Arabia, Nigeria, Malaysia, Turkey and the Islamic Solidarity Fund have extended their initial commitments to provide a total of $1.2 million so far as foreign ministers of the 57-nation grouping in their ongoing meeting initiated the fund raising campaign for Gambia’s legal battle on Rohingya issues in the International Court of Justice, according to Bangladesh diplomats in Niger.
Bangladesh has disbursed $5,00,000 for the fund, they said.
‘We have already disbursed the fund to the OIC for supporting Gambia in its legal battle,’ Bangladesh’s permanent representative to the OIC Mohammad Javed Patwary, who simultaneously serves as the ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said, according to Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha.
Patwary, who is leading the Bangladesh delegation at the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Niger, said that the OIC General Secretariat opened a dedicated account for Gambia’s battle at the ICJ as the West African nation sought fund on urgent basis.
‘I call for urgent, voluntary and substantial contribution of the [OIC] member states for the legal case,’ Gambia’s justice minister Dawda A Jallow said while presenting latest update of the Rohingya case at the CFM, where the Rohingya crisis appeared to be the key agenda.
Gambia needs approximately $5 million, mainly to pay the lawyers to run the case, while it has hired a reputed US-based law firm to stand by the prosecution side in the case, he said.
Jallow said that ‘unfortunately’ the law firm was yet to receive any significant payment for the legal services it had rendered since September 2019.
‘It is only this month that a sum of $3,00,000 was paid to the law firm, which is less than 10 per cent of the amount we owed them.’
The Gambian minister said that the case was aimed at seeking a conclusive and lasting solution to the Rohingya crisis.
He cautioned that all potential OIC interventions to the ICJ regarding Rohingya cause should be conducted in coordination with his country for the sake of the cause.
Some 8,60,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing and genocide, beginning from August 25, 2017.
The latest Rohingya influx took the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to over 1.1 million, according to estimates by UN agencies and Bangladesh foreign ministry.
Legal battles are also going on at the International Criminal Court on ensuring accountability of the perpetrators who were engaged in the crimes committed against the ethnic Muslim minority Rohingya community in Rakhine of the Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
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