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Morning Brief: Aung San Suu Kyi Defends Myanmar Against Genocide Charges Aung San Suu Kyi Defends Myanmar Agai...
Here is today’s Foreign Policy brief: Aung San Suu Kyi heads to The Hague to defend Myanmar against charges of genocide, Turkey is moving Syrian refugees back across the border, and Russia’s foreign minister meets Trump in Washington.
Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi appears in the Hague today for the start of a three-day hearing as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) considers genocide charges against Myanmar for a military crackdown in 2017 that caused more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee the country. The case, brought by Gambia and backed by other Muslim states, is the first brought before the ICJ by a country without a direct connection to events in question.
Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is scheduled to defend her country against the charges of genocide on Wednesday. (The government maintains the campaign was a legitimate attack on Rohingya militants.) She will be one of few world leaders to personally address the ICJ, and her decision do so after remaining mostly silent on the accusations for so long is significant. It is also politically expedient: Tens of thousands have turned out for rallies in Myanmar to support her trip, which comes ahead of elections next year.
Why is Aung San Suu Kyi appearing? Despite foreign criticism, Aung San Suu Kyi’s appearance at the Hague could boost the leader. “She may feel both that she is the most capable person to do this and that it is her duty,” Christina Fink, a professor of practice of international affairs at George Washington University, wrote in an email. “But beyond that, she may also see that it could have benefits for her domestically,” including possible concessions from the military on constitutional amendments. (Currently, Aung San Suu Kyi is barred from serving as president.)
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