Wa limbo in ICJ’s proceeding against Burma

The Kachin Post / December 2, 2019

Leaders of Burma’s semi-autonomous region, Wa State, expects that the important of involving third-party country to solve the Rohingya crisis in the country’s western Rahkine State, however, rejecting the unnecessary international intervention in the country.

Wa State supports the Burma’s recent stand of its State counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to lead a team to defend the country against charges of genocide at the U.N’s highest court in the Hague, said a statement released on last Wednesday. The statement was jointly released by United Wa State Party, United Wa State Army and Government of Wa People.

International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced last month that the public hearing will hold next week after Gambia initiated international prosecution against Burma regarding the genocide against the country’s Muslim minority Rohingya. More than 700,000 Rohingya fled to neighbouring Bangladesh in August 2017 to escape what had been called an state-sponsored genocide campaign orchestrated by Burma Army. The military campaign involves mass rape, killing and destroying hundreds of villages.

Wa State believes that important of involving the third-party country to solve the Rohingya crisis along with Burma and Bangladesh. However, the statement didn’t elaborate the specific third-party country which is capable of accommodate the two-recipient countries of Rohingya crisis.

Wa State welcomes the respect and peaceful solution made by international communities accord with U.N charter and international law to solve the Rohingya problem, said the statement. However, Wa rejects the bias and unnecessary international intervention that may lead further instability of Rahkine region, which has been known for centuries of complicated and neglected situation.

Wa State’s armed-wing United Wa State Army (UWSA) is the largest and heavily-armed ethnic-army in the country and owned Chinese-made surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles. Wa State is situated in north eastern Shan State along the Chinese border. UWSA is well known for Chinese-back army and equipped with mostly Chinese-made military equipment, including helicopters.

In November 2017, China offered three-point plan to resolve the Burma’s Rohingya crisis for both Bangladesh and Myanmar. China is the country which doesn’t want to see Rohingya issue becomes expanded or internationalized one.

On the China-Burma border, some ethnic-armed organizations have actively engaged in fighting with Burma Army. But, UWSA is not one of them and has been peaceful relation with Burmese authority for thirty years.

A coalition of ethnic-armed groups, also known as Three Brotherhood Alliance, had recently voiced support to Gambia led genocide prosecution against Burma, saying they all have evidence of ethnic cleansing campaign waged by Burma Army for decades. The alliance includes Ta-ang National Liberation Army, Arakan Army and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army. They all are actively engage fighting against Burma Army.