Tun Khin said he fled the Rakhine state in the 90s after being denied access to a university education simply because of his Rohingya identity. Since then, he has watched from afar how the Myanmar authorities persecuted his people with impunity.
The ICJ in The Hague on January 23 imposed the emergency “provisional measures” on Myanmar regarding its actions against and treatment of the Rohingya community in Rakhine state of the country.
The order may sound like incomprehensible legal jargon to any average person, but for many Rohingyas, it was probably one of the best news they ever received, after waiting for long to witness the international community take meaningful action to end their suffering, Tun Khin wrote.
The “World Court” of the United Nations, with this decision, effectively directed the Myanmar government, led by de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to respect the requirements of the 1948 genocide convention and bring an end to its military crackdown on the Rohingyas.
This was the first time that a credible international body said “enough” to the Myanmar government that has abused and oppressed the Rohingyas for so many decades, he wrote.
The Rohingyas’ plight captured global attention in August 2017, when the Myanmar military launched a vicious “clearance operation” in the Rakhine State, the then home to over a million Rohingya people. Soldiers went on a rampage through the region, killing thousands, committing mass rapes, burning down entire villages, and driving more than 700,000 people to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh.
The atrocity committed against the Rohingya people was outrageously violent, but that was only the tip of the iceberg, Tu Khin wrote.