Key facts about the newly established UN-mandated International Independent Mechanism and ICC or Ad hoc tribunal on Myanmar
Maung Zarni Rohingya Today
Rohingya refugees attend a ceremony in Bangladesh to remember the first anniversary of the military crackdown (AFP Photo/Dibyangshu SARKAR)

Myanmar Genocide Case: Smell it in the air (perhaps not through the ICC, because ICC's current scope on Myanmar is VERY LIMITED).

UN-mandated International Independent Mechanism to be headed by this top international prosecutor, ethnic Armenian but American national, who successfully made the GENOCIDE case against Khmer Rouge leaders.

The investigation of evidence of international crimes committed by Myanmar will be data-based and made available for any future criminal trials, ICC or an ad hoc tribunal which UN may establish for Myanmar.

In the event ICC eventually decides to start a full-blown investigation into Myanmar's crimes of deportation of 800,000 Rohingyas:

1) genocide charge is NOT likely to be on the agenda (although it cannot be ruled out entirely);

2) ICC will only try INDIVIDUAL LEADERS - military commanders, political leaders (Rakhine and Burmese), and civil society members such as hate-preachers who incite destruction and deportation of Rohingyas as a 'protected group' (a group with its distinct ethnic, national, racial and religious identity, irrespective of whether Myanmar recognizes them as such or not);

3) it will cost millions and millions of $$, take at least 10 years, give rise to a NEW GROWTH INDUSTRY or B-U-S-I-N-E-S-S of human rights lawyers (Khmer Rouge tribunal has spent over US$300 millions, and is ongoing after 20 years since it was set up);

4) ICC will NOT be able to bring to the Hague Senior General Min Aung Hlaing or any other genocidal leaders, WITHOUT the cooperation of the Interpol from various countries (Sudanese leader is found guilty of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by ICC, and African Union and other signatory of the ICC (such as S. Africa, Jordan, Egypt, etc.) REFUSED to arrest him when he was visiting those countries as THE GUEST OF THE GOVERNMENTS mentioned above;

5) ICC has no power or legal authority to order any government of Myanmar to A) restore Rohingyas citizenship; B) grant basic human rights; C) provide protection for the entire Rohingya community; D) give back the vast amount of land - almost entire Northern Rakhine State - the Rohingya communities; and finally E) end the institutionalized policies of persecution against Rohingyas;

and last but not least;

6) there is absolutely no possibility - let me repeat, ABSOLUTELY NO POSSIBILITY - of China and Russia relenting on the Security Council referral of Myanmar to ICC.

Yes, this ICC move is positive and welcome. There are some tangible consequences of this move.

First, this development will keep Myanmar leaders on their toes: criminals always suffer from a deep sense of insecurities.

We need to increase that level of mental anguish and make their lives as Hellish and pained as possible.

But do NOT get your hopes too high or do NOT devote your energies echoing the INGOs' chorus of "calls for the Security Council referral".

In the final analysis, ICC will NOT end Myanmar genocide nor will it deliver what Rohingyas as a community need: protected homeland within Myanmar, with full and equal citizenship and basic rights restored.

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