Last month Gambia, a small West African country that is mostly Muslim, brought a lawsuit against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The lawsuit alleges that Myanmar committed genocide, including mass murder and rape against the Rohingya minority of Rakhine State.
Myanmar of course denies the claims saying the in September of 2017 the military action was to respond to terrorists who had earlier killed 13 security officers on the border. Militant Rohingya were attempting to get military security out of the region and to create their own region.
There was a lot of misinformation according to the Myanmar government on what had happened. Regardless, over 700,000 Rohingya people ended up on the Bangladesh border creating the largest refugee camp in the world.
On December 10th Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s State Counselor will go to The Hague to have the opening remarks of the case. Suu Kyi claims to be doing so for national interest but is at risk of further harming her image internationally.
About a month after the military pushed the Rohingya out of Myanmar, Suu Kyi made a public speech denying the actions of the Military. This came as a shock to the International community as Suu Kyi had spent 15 years in house arrest opposing the Military government. Now it seems that she is partnering with them. Whether she is or not, she is in a tough position as the civilian government does not control the military. The Military still controls 25% of the parliament’s seats.
The international community will have to have a new reality for Myanmar. If Myanmar is going to continue to open it will take time. The civilian government and the military will have to have a partnership that will benefit both. The military will need to allow the civilian government do what’s necessary to develop the nation through business and have a measured approach to both these types of situations but also to the civil unrest that is happening in other areas such as Rakhine, Shan, Kachin States. Together the Civilian Government and the military must broker peace.
But for now, Myanmar is fighting this case that has put it unfavorably in the spotlight. Fighting against sanctions that will set it back. Fighting for peace. Fighting for growth.
Written By- Mr. Ryan Russell (CEO of Myanmar Business Answers)