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Top UN court orders Myanmar prevent Rohingya genocide

The UN’s top court on Thursday announced its ruling on accusations that Myanmar committed genocide against its Muslim Rohingya minority.

Delivering its verdict on the case filed last month by Gambia, International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf declared a four-month deadline for Myanmar to take preventive measures and ensure that Rohingya in the country would not be harmed.

Yusuf said persecuted Rohingya members were a protected group inside Myanmar under the 1948 UN Genocide Convention, adding that the decision in no way “prejudges the merits of the actual case on whether Myanmar is responsible for genocide.”

The court asked Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent acts of “killing members of the [Rohingya] group, causing physical or mental harm to them, implementing measures [to stop] designs to destroy the group.”

Myanmar must ensure that its military or any irregular organizations or groups subject to its control do not commit any acts in first point or acts of conspiracy to commit genocide, to commit genocide or attempt or of complicity in genocide,” said the nearly hour-long verdict read by the top judge.

It added that Myanmar must take effective measures to “prevent the destruction of evidence of genocide.”

Myanmar is further required to submit a report of implementation of the preventive measures as issued by the UN court in four months, the verdict said.

The ICJ also asked Myanmar to give a copy of the report to Gambia so it may submit its comments.

“Following its first report — submitted after four months of the issuance of this verdict — Myanmar will present a report of its measures taken after every six months,” the court ordered.

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