eCite Digital Repository

The Rohingya crisis and questions of accountability


Simpson, A and Farrelly, N, The Rohingya crisis and questions of accountability, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 74, (5) pp. 486-494. ISSN 1035-7718 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Australian Institute of International Affairs

DOI: doi:10.1080/10357718.2020.1813251


There is no obvious end to the ongoing tragedy that faces the Muslim Rohingya communities of western Myanmar. Yet, with two important international legal cases underway at the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court there are now important opportunities to maintain pressure on Myanmar’s government. Myanmar’s current government – a fusion of militarist, democratic, ethno-nationalist and conservative interests – has consistently sought to downplay the seriousness of the situation. This attitude, and the fraught, but politically effective, nexus between Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) and the military, has done much to encourage a culture of impunity among military and civilian decision-makers. Nevertheless, with crucial national elections scheduled for November 2020, and an economy battered by the global COVID- 19 shutdown, Myanmar faces a confluence of grave challenges. Under these conditions, key decision-makers in Naypyitaw may hope that international scrutiny of violence against the Rohingya will fade. Given these court actions, however, this is unlikely. Whatever sympathy we may have for Aung San Suu Kyi’s predicament, she will not recover her reputation. And she will forever face hard questions about her inability to prevent, and, more importantly, refusal to condemn, ethnic cleansing.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, Rohingya, International Court of Justice, genocide, accountability
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Government and politics of Asia and the Pacific
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Political systems
UTAS Author:Farrelly, N (Professor Nicholas Farrelly)
ID Code:143028
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-02-23
Last Modified:2021-07-29

Repository Staff Only: item control page