Reuters, Dakar/The Hague Sun Jan 16, 2022 1

Representatives of Myanmar’s junta are expected to challenge the jurisdiction of the World Court to hear allegations the country committed genocide against its Rohingya minority in a fresh round of hearings from Feb 21, the attorney general of Gambia, which brought the case, told Reuters on Friday.

“A hybrid hearing (is) set to commence on the 21st of February, 2022,” Gambian Attorney General Dawda Jallow said.

He added that Aung San Suu Kyi, who led Myanmar’s defence at the first public hearings in 2019 but has since been deposed by the military, had been formally replaced as its top representative in the case.

A hybrid hearing is a procedure where some of the participants are present in person and others participate online due to Covid-19 measures.

More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar after a military-led crackdown in 2017, and were forced into camps across the border in Bangladesh. UN investigators concluded that the military campaign had been executed with “genocidal intent”.

Since the February 1 coup last year, the military government has been fighting for international recognition and could be eager for the opportunity to show themselves as Myanmar’s legitimate representatives at the UN’s top court.

The next step in ICJ proceedings is Myanmar’s challenge to the jurisdiction of the court.