OIC, rights groups welcome court rebuke of Myanmar

General view of the court during the ruling 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 January 23, 2020. (REUTERS)

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and rights groups welcomed on Friday a court ruling urging Myanmar to take preventive measures against the genocide of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.

The OIC voiced support for the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which came on Thursday and called on Myanmar to fully comply with the order.

The Muslim bloc urged the international community to scale up support to the legal efforts for securing justice for the community.

The Arakan Rohingya Union (ARU) and European Rohingya Council (ERC) on Friday also "warmly" welcomed the ruling.

"The Court Order on provisional measures are binding under the international law, and being a signatory of the Genocide Convention, Myanmar Government has full obligation to abide by the Court Order," they said in a joint statement.

The African nation of Gambia brought the ICJ case against Myanmar after more than 700,000 Rohingya fled across the border into Bangladesh, recounting harrowing tales of rape, arson and mass killings by security forces.

Decisions by the ICJ, which was set up after World War II to settle disputes between states, are binding, but the court has no means to enforce rulings.

Myanmar has maintained its military campaign was waged to tackle an extremist threat in Rakhine state. The country's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, defended her country against the claims at the ICJ last month.

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