Suu Kyi denies 'genocidal intent' in Rohingya case

Updated: Dec 12, 2019, 13:46 IST | Agencies | The Hague

"Regrettably The Gambia has placed before the court a misleading and incomplete picture of the situation in Rakhine state," said Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi. Pic/AFP
Aung San Suu Kyi. Pic/AFP

The Hague: Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday denied "genocidal intent" as she defended Myanmar's military operation against Rohingya Muslims in the UN's top court.

Addressing judges in The Hague, Myanmar's civilian leader admitted that the army may have used "disproportionate force" but said that did not prove it was trying to wipe out the minority group. The African state of The Gambia has taken Myanmar to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over a bloody 2017 military crackdown in which thousands of people were killed and around 7,40,000 Rohingya fled to neighbouring Bangladesh.

"Regrettably The Gambia has placed before the court a misleading and incomplete picture of the situation in Rakhine state," said Suu Kyi. She argued that the army was responding to an attack by hundreds of Rohingya militants in 2017.

"It cannot be ruled out that disproportionate force was used by members of the defence services in some cases in disregard of international humanitarian law, or that they did not distinguish clearly enough between fighters and civilians," she said but added Myanmar was holding its own investigations, adding, "Surely under the circumstances genocidal intent cannot be the only hypothesis."

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