Aung San Suu Kyi rejects allegations of genocide in Myanmar

Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi rejected allegations of genocide against her country at the International Court of Justice Wednesday, The Washington Post reported.

The civilian leader defended Myanmar Wednesday in response to the genocide accusations described by West African country Gambia the day before. Gambia detailed stories of systematic rape and mass murder of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, including the burning of babies and villages with people locked in their homes, according to the Post.

Suu Kyi called the issue a domestic problem for her country to internally solve. 


“If war crimes have been committed by members of Myanmar’s defense services, they will be prosecuted through our military justice system, in accordance with Myanmar’s constitution,” she said, according to the Post.

The civilian leader was not required to appear in court and ended up becoming the first national leader to answer to the court while the alleged genocide is still continuing. She acknowledged that some military officials may have used “disproportionate force” but said Gambia did not have the required evidence to accuse Myanmar of genocide, the Post reported.

Her appearance in court also comes before Myanmar will hold elections next year. Reporters at the Post have postulated that this may be a calculated effort by the leader to “take matters into her own hands” and redefine the narrative before the people of Myanmar head to the polls. 

The charges were filed by Gambia last month, and a decision could be announced in weeks or months, according to the Post. United Nations officials have said Myanmar’s military acted with genocidal intent when removing Rohingya Muslims from their villages, but the country denies this and accused the minority group of the violence.

Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for opposing military rule and promoting democracy in her country.

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