Suu Kyi in court as genocide case set out against Myanmar

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THE HAGUE – Mass rapes, the burning alive of Muslim Rohingya families in their homes and the killing with knives of dozens of children were described by Gambia’s legal team as it set out its genocide case against Myanmar at the U.N.’s highest court on Tuesday.

Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate, looked on impassively as the alleged atrocities were detailed on the first of three days of hearings at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The case was instituted by Gambia against Buddhist-majority Myanmar in November.

“All that The Gambia asks is that you tell Myanmar to stop these senseless killings,” Gambia’s Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou said in opening comments.

“To stop these acts of barbarity and brutality that have shocked and continue to shock our collective conscience. To stop this genocide of its own people.”

Suu Kyi is expected on Wednesday to repeat denials of genocide and argue that military “clearance operations” launched in August 2017 were a legitimate counterterrorism response to attacks by Rohingya militants.

Detailing events at the village of Min Gyi, Gambia’s lawyer Andrew Loewenstein drew on witness accounts recorded in a report by U.N. investigators, who estimated 750 people were killed there, including more than 100 children under the age of 6.

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