Kachin Orgs Welcome ICJ Ruling & Push For Wider Recognition of Persecution

Some Kachin organizations have spoken out in support of an order by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague imposing emergency restrictions on the Burmese state amid an ongoing trial for genocide.

On January 23, the ICJ’s judges unanimously ordered four provisional measures to be taken against Burma, ensuring that the Rohingya minority are protected, that efforts to commit genocide against them are prevented, and that any evidence of crimes against them is preserved.

The order follows charges brought against Burma by the Gambia in November last year, accusing the country of committing genocide of the Muslim Rohingya during a brutal military campaign in 2017.

The Kachin National Organization (KNO) released a statement on Monday welcoming the provisional measures, which Burma had asked the court not to impose.

In order for Burma to avoid further international alienation and potential sanctions, Duwa Gumgrawng Awng Hkam, the vice-chairperson of the Kachin State People’s Party, said that the Burmese government will have to take the order seriously.

“The ICJ already made its decision. We don’t need to complain about whether these four points are fair or not. Burma needs to respond as best it can. If not, there will be more international pressure put on Burma,” Duwa Gumgrawng Awng Hkam told KNG.

The Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) representatives said that they hoped the ruling would allow for a greater discussion of other abuses against ethnic communities in Burma, in order to build greater support for the move domestically.

San Htoi, the organization’s spokesperson, said she was concerned that Burma would not adhere to the measures imposed by the ICJ, and that this could impact the effectiveness of the ruling.

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