Since 2017, Bangladesh has been hosting an increasing number of Rohingya refugees in a bid to provide them with a safe environment away from the horrors of their own government’s ethnic cleansing operations. Although this is a commendable humanitarian initiative, it has undoubtedly placed a heavy burden on the nation.
Despite numerous appeals to the international community to assist in the safe repatriation of refugees, little has been done to ensure their return. This is largely due to the dangers and mass genocide that the Rohingya community will likely still be subjected to in their home country.
To that end, until the Myanmar government is held accountable for its heinous crimes, a safe return may be out of the question.
However, there are reasons for hope. The International Court of Justice’s ruling on Myanmar’s Genocide Objection case on Friday could have a big impact on how we move forward with the issue at hand.
The ICJ’s ruling against Myanmar’s objection would allow the case to proceed, and the nation’s atrocities will finally be presented to the world for judgment. This could very well facilitate a safe repatriation process, which is extremely encouraging.
However, some concerns remain in this regard. The time it would take for the case to unfold would also delay Rohingya returns to Myanmar, which is proving dangerous and taxing for both refugees and Bangladesh. Moreover, there is no way to actually enforce the World Court’s decision.
Despite the concerns that may arise, there is no doubt that this decision is of great importance, in that it will advance the cause and dictate our next action.
The world at large has sat on this humanitarian crisis for far too long now. Whatever the consequences of the decision, we must immediately join forces to end Myanmar’s barbarism and help the Rohingya return home.