VERNON Mwaanga has described as chilling and sickening Myanmar leader Aung Suu Kyi’s attempt to deny her government’s genocide against the Rohingya Muslims.
According to a case brought by Gambia at the United Nations’ International Court of Justice, the Myanmar military in August 2017 carried out a systematic, targeted campaign of terror, rape and murder against its Muslim population.
UN investigators say as many as 10,000 Rohingya – a Muslim minority in the Buddhist-majority nation – were killed. Another 730,000 Rohingya fled the massacre to Bangladesh, joining 300,000 Rohingya who had previously fled oppression in Myanmar.
But Suu Kyi, who is defending Myanmar in court against accusations of genocide, said the allegations are “untrue and incomplete.”
But in a statement yesterday, veteran politician Mwaanga described Kyi’s remarks as “chilling and sickening.”
“Listening to Suu Kyi on 11th December, 2019 at the ICJ as she defended genocide against the Rohingya as untrue and incomplete, was chilling and sickening,” he stated.
Mwaanga stated that he listened to the Attorney General and justice minister of Gambia, Abubacarr Tambadou, who had visited the Rohingya refugee camp in October this year, “factually and eloquently outline in great detail, the genocide case against the government of Myanmar.”
“His case which had the fullest support of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation was consistent with the findings of United Nations Commission of Inquiries, findings of the Human Rights Commission, and many others,” he stated.
Mwaanga explained that while citizens of Myanmar were lining up to vote in semi-democratic elections a few years ago, the nearly one million Rohingyas were lining up in eastern Bangladesh to receive refugee rations in what has been described as the world’s largest refugee camp.
“The world, including Zambia, supported Suu Kyi’s struggle for democracy and human rights in Myanmar, where the military dictators kept her in prison or under house rest for many years. After the last elections, which saw her party win a very substantial number of seats in Parliament, the military still kept for themselves a blocking number of members of parliament and continued to retain executive power. Suu Kyi was given a dubious position of Senior State Counsellor or unofficial civilian head of government,” Mwaanga noted.
He stated that Suu Kyi took the unprecedented step of going to The Hague to defend the indefensible genocide against the Rohingya Muslim when it was the government of Myanmar which was on trial and not her.
Mwaanga stated that Suu Kyi’s conduct raised serious questions as to whether she should have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle for democracy and human rights.
“Her unbelievable utterances at the International Court of Justice, will hugely disappoint and anger many human rights and democracy advocates around the world, who supported her earlier stand against military repression and abuse of human rights in Myanmar by the military dictators. History will judge her current stand very harshly,” stated Mwaanga.