The International Court of Justice at The Hague rejected the Myanmar junta’s appeal for a 10-month reprieve to file a counter-memorial — or reply — to The Gambia’s case that Myanmar was in breach of the International Genocide Convention.
- The case relates to the Myanmar military’s “clearing” operations in 2017 in Rakhine state, in which many Rohingya were killed.
Who are Rohingya?
- They are an ethnic group, largely comprising Muslims, who predominantly live in the Western Myanmar province of Rakhine.
- They speak a dialect of Bengali, as opposed to the commonly spoken Burmese language.
- Though they have been living in the South East Asian country for generations, Myanmar considers them as persons who migrated to their land during Colonial rule.
- Myanmar has classified them as “resident foreigners” or “associate citizens.
Crisis and Atrocities linked to them
- They have suffered decades of violence, discrimination, and persecution in Myanmar.
- They were forced to leave Myanmar in large numbers after several waves of violence, which first began in 2012. The Myanmar army revived the attacks in 2017 and lakhs took shelter in Bangladesh.
- Many walked for days through jungles and undertook dangerous sea journeys across the Bay of Bengal to reach safety in Bangladesh.
- Besides being a burden on the limited resources of the country also aggravates the security challenges posed to the country.
- It also said the rise in terrorism in the last few decades is a cause for concern in most nations and that illegal migrants are more vulnerable to getting recruited by terrorist organisations.
India’s Stand on Refugees
- India is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol.
- All foreign undocumented nationals are governed as per the provisions of The Foreigners Act, of 1946, The Registration of Foreigners Act, of 1939, The Passport (Entry into India) Act, of 1920, and The Citizenship Act, of 1955.
- The MHA informed that “foreign nationals who enter into the country without valid travel documents are treated as illegal immigrants.