World Court ruling breathes new hope into Rohingya - end of persecution

  • Sankar Barua Rumi, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-01-24 02:49:50 BdST

bdnews24
FILE PHOTO:A boy holds a placard as hundreds of Rohingya refugees protest against their repatriation at the Unchiprang camp in Teknaf, Bangladesh November 15, 2018. Reuters

The World Court’s orders will bring an end to the persecution of the Rohingya, the refugees hope after their first major legal victory over the Myanmar authorities.

They believe it will be possible for them to return to their homeland from Bangladesh if pressure now mounts on Myanmar to implement the order of the International Court of Justice.

The refugees residing in camps at Ukhiya and Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar began discussing what the initial ruling of the top United Nations court would possibly be on Thursday morning.

The crowds at the shops and in front of TV were getting larger by noon and finally the court passed the orders sometime after 3:30pm local time.

Myanmar must take urgent measures to protect its Rohingya population from genocide and report back within four months, the court said.

Its final decision could take years as the ruling dealt only with a request for preliminary measures, but the ruling cheered the refugees.

“We are happy as we finally have a verdict from the international community for the first time after persecution for long. We feel relieved, at least for now,” Syed Alam, a Rohingya leader at Lombashia camp, told bdnews24.com.

“It has given us a dream,” he added.

Mohammad Arif, a leader of the Rohingya residing at the zero lines along the Ghumdhum border in Bandarban’s Naikkhyangcharhi, said: “It’s the first recognition of the Rohingya crisis by any international body. It will protect the Rohingya and mount international pressure on Myanmar.”

“If Myanmar implements the order and the international community continues pressuring Myanmar on this, it will ease the path to our repatriation,” he said.

Besides execution of the order, Rohingya repatriation with full citizenship of Myanmar is a must to put an end to the crisis, said Nur Kamal, another leader of the refugees at Kutupalong camp.

Syed Ullah, the general secretary of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights, hailed the order as an “initial recognition of the genocide against them”.

The Bangladeshi inhabitants of Cox’s Bazar are also happy.

“It is necessary for Bangladesh to play a role in piling international pressure on Myanmar in light of this order to ensure the repatriation of the Rohingya, their security, safety and other issues,” human rights activist Noor Khan said.