UN court rejects Myanmar challenge to genocide case


The UN's highest court ruled on Friday that a landmark case accusing military-ruled Myanmar of genocide against minority Rohingya Muslims can go ahead.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague threw out all of Myanmar's objections to a case filed by the west African nation of The Gambia in 2019.

The decision paves the way for full hearings at the court on allegations over a bloody 2017 crackdown on the Rohingya by majority-Buddhist Myanmar.

"The court finds that it has jurisdiction... to entertain the application filed by the republic of the Gambia, and that the application is admissible," ICJ president Joan Donoghue said.

Hundreds of thousands of minority Rohingya fled the south-east Asian country during the operation five years ago, bringing with them harrowing reports of murder, rape and arson.

Around 850,000 Rohingya are languishing in camps in neighbouring Bangladesh while another 600,000 Rohingya remain in Myanmar's south-western Rakhine state.

Gambian Justice Minister Dawda Jallow told reporters outside the court he was "very pleased that the court has delivered justice".

Several dozen Rohingya activists demonstrated outside the court while the judgment was read out. (AFP)

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