Hundreds rally in Yangon in support of Suu Kyi

Hundreds rally in Yangon in support of Suu Kyi

About 700 demonstrators rallied in central Yangon to show support for Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as she prepares to defend the country against charges of genocide at the United Nation's highest court.

Members of her National League for Democracy swelled the ranks in front of the colonial-era City Hall as the crowd waved national flags and listened to music and poetry.

Many carried banners saying "We Stand With You, Mother Suu".

The case, before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, relates to a harsh counter-insurgency campaign waged by Myanmar's military against the Rohingya in August 2017 in response to an insurgent attack.

More than 700,000 Rohingya fled to neighbouring Bangladesh to escape what has been called an ethnic cleansing campaign involving mass rapes, killings and the torching of homes.

The Gambia filed the case on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

The case at the ICJ, also known as the World Court, alleges that Myanmar's actions against the Rohingya are "genocidal in character because they are intended to destroy the Rohingya group in whole or in part".

Myanmar has strongly denied charges but says it stands ready to take action against wrong-doers if there is sufficient evidence.

A statement on the website of the Ministry of the Interior recently said the renewed international pressure was due to a lack of understanding of "the complexities of the issue and the narratives of the people of Myanmar".

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi will lead the delegation to The Hague in her capacity as foreign minister.

Hearings are due to start on 10 December and the case is expected to last several years.