Dutch parliament to receive Myanmar leader after "no genocide" testimony

The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, will meet with the government leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, on Friday. She is in The Hague due to a lawsuit that Gambia filed at the International Court of Justice against Myanmar, accusing the country of genocide against the Rohingya people. The Kamer seized this opportunity to speak with Suu Kyi, NOS reports.

Suu Kyi spoke on behalf of Myanmar before the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Wednesday. She said that it can not be excluded that the Myanmar army used "disproportionate force" in the fight against Rohingya rebels in 2017, NU.nl reports. These were possible war crimes, but not genocide, she said. She stressed that if there is evidence of possible crimes against humanity, the perpetrators will be punished by Myanmar itself. 

"But that there were genocidal intentions cannot be the only explanation for this complex armed conflict", Suu Kyi said. She called Gambia's description of the situation in Myanmar "misleading". She said that a domestic armed conflict arose in 2016 after rebels attacked several police stations in Myanmar. Even now there is fighting in the state of Rakhine, where many of the Rohingya people live, she said. 

A United Nations report published last year stated that in response to the rebel attacks, entire villages in Rakhine were set on fire. Women and girls were raped. Some 25 thousand people were killed and hundreds of thousands of others fled to neighboring Bangladesh. The rapporteurs called it a textbook example of ethnic cleansing. The report stated that the Myanmar army murdered and raped thousands of members of the Rohingya Muslim minority with "genocidal intentions".

After this report was published, Gambia went to the International Court of Justice in November last year, charging Myanmar with genocide. On Tuesday, representatives of Gambia asked the court to impose restrictions on Myanmar for the "senseless killings" of the Rohingya population. 

On Friday the Tweede Kamer committee for Foreign Affairs wants to talk to Suu Kyi about the background of the charges Gambia pressed and about the situation in Myanmar. The interview will happen behind closed doors, with no journalists being allowed, according to NOS.

The Netherlands supports Gambia in this genocide case, according to the broadcaster. 

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