Sitting on the floor of his makeshift school in the sprawling refugee camp of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, 11-year-old Omar spoke softly as he remembered his mother and father.
“My parents loved me so much. They looked after me very well,” he said.
He explained how his parents were murdered by the Myanmar army in August 2017. Three of his brothers and two of his sisters were also killed.
“When I wake up every morning I start crying. Then I wipe my tears away and I get ready to go to school,” he said.
Two years on, it is still hard to process the brutality of what happened to Omar and his fellow Rohingya who had been living in Myanmar – or Burma as it was previously known.
You would be forgiven for assuming such stories would have brought swift and decisive international action. They did not. Visible progress towards any kind of justice for the minority Muslim group has been painfully slow.
But now we’ve seen three legal developments – seemingly unrelated – which some legal experts are calling a big step forward, and which offer a degree of hope to Rohingya campaigners.
Why aren’t Myanmar’s generals already in court?
UN inspectors said in September 2018 that top officers in Myanmar’s army should stand trial accused of genocide for their brutal security crackdown in Rakhine state the previous year, which drove more than 700,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh.
The easiest way for this to happen would be for the UN Security Council to refer the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) which prosecutes alleged war criminals.