Shelling Rohingya village ‘expression of anger’: experts

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 00:30, Jan 27,2020


Shelling Rohingya village in Rakhine by Myanmar military was an expression of anger after the order of the UN’s apex court asking the authorities in the country to protect the members of the community, foreign affairs experts said on Saturday.

Shelling on Rohingya village for killing again might be ‘an expression of anger’ as ‘ICJ order was a big slap for Myanmar,’ Bangladesh Enterprise Institute acting president Humayun Kabir said when his attention was drawn on recent killing in Rakhine by Myanmar military. 

Two women, one pregnant, were killed and seven other people injured after Myanmar troops shelled a Rohingya village on Saturday, according to a lawmaker and a villager, two days after the International Court of Justice ordered the country to prevent alleged genocide of Rohingya Muslims, a distinct minority group, according to Reuters.

Humayun Kabir said the relationship between the Rohingya group and the Myanmar authorities has changed since 1982 as the Myanmar government cancelled their citizenship.

The latest shelling was possibly ‘out of instinctive reactions…to express frustration’ as the ICJ provisional measures were ‘a great loss of face’ the Myanmar authorities, he said.

The ICJ orders have brought qualitative changes on Myanmar’s international engagements as three parallel judicial processes were going on at the ICJ, the International Criminal Court and independent mechanism of the UNHRC involving the atrocity committed against Rohingya people by the military, he said.

Humayun Kabir, also a former foreign secretary, said the Bangladesh authorities would require to use the new opening, created by the ICJ decisions, at all levels, bilateral and multilateral etc.

The Bangladesh side would also require to keep eyes on activities of Myanmar inside the country, he added.

Shelling Rohingya village and killing people again ‘is not a good sign,’ a senior Bangladesh diplomat with knowledge of the matter said.

The Myanmar government, which was on denial mode on rights of Rohingya people, could not accept the ICJ decisions easily, he said, adding that they started misinterpreting the ICJ orders in an apparent attempt to keep people in Myanmar calm.  

The foreign ministry on Sunday informed the National Taskforce on Rohingya Repatriation about the urgent measures imposed by the ICJ on Myanmar in a meeting at the ministry.

Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen presided over the meeting with participation of senior government officials of different ministries and organisations.

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