Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks on the second day of hearings in a case filed by Gambia against Myanmar alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya population, at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands December 11, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
THE HAGUE (Reuters) – At the opening of her country’s defense at the World Court on an accusation of genocide, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi challenged whether events in Rakhine could fit that description.
Beginning her address, Suu Kyi noted that several mass expulsions of people during the Balkan wars of the 1990s were not genocide.
“International justice resisted the temptation to use this legal classification because the specific intent to destroy the targeted group in whole or in part was not present,” she told judges.
She said that the troubles in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, home to its Muslim Rohingya minority, “go back centuries” and Gambia, which brought the suit against Myanmar, had “painted an incomplete and misleading picture of the factual situation in Rakhine.”
Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Toby Chopra