By Faruk Zorlu
ANKARA (AA) - The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) should take additional steps on Rohingya Muslim and turn its words to action, the leaders of Rohingya and Burmese Muslims said in a statement Thursday.
The statement was jointly issued by Arakan Rohingya National Organization Chairman Nurul Islam, President of Burmese Rohingya Organization U.K. Tun Khin and Kyaw Win, executive director of the Burma Human Rights Network on the sideline of the meeting of OIC Ministerial Committee for Accountability for Human Rights Violations against the Rohingya.
"We welcome The Gambia's intention to pursue Myanmar through the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the genocide they conducted against the Rohingya.
"Such a case will hopefully go a long way to helping stop the atrocities that continue to be committed against our people," the statement said.
The Gambia -- as the chair of the OIC's Ad Hoc Ministerial Committee on Accountability for Human Rights Violations against the Rohingya -- suggested willingly to file such a case.
In March at the final session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Abu Dhabi, OIC unanimously adopted a resolution to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for establishing the legal rights of Rohingya Muslims.
"The Gambia and the OIC must work with other countries, as well as the Rohingya themselves to ensure the strongest possible case is able to be established," it said.
It went on to say: "It is time for OIC countries to also take additional steps, such as adopting targeted sanctions against the Tatmadaw leadership -- known as the Myanmar army -- including military chief Sen. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing and military-owned companies."
The Ministerial Committee of OIC for Accountability for Human Rights Violations against the Rohingya Minority in Myanmar held its second meeting on Thursday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on the sidelines of the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States for the 14th summit of OIC.
The 14th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will be held in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on Friday. A ministerial-level meeting on the Rohingya crisis will also take place on the sidelines.
Turkey assumed the OIC Summit Chairmanship in the 13th Islamic Summit in 2016 and handed over the Chairmanship to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).
More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience".
Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.
In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity and genocidal intent.