Myanmar has rejected an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into alleged crimes against the Rohingya Muslims, as its faces mounting global legal pressure over its cleansing operation on the minority ethnic group.
The International Criminal Court said on Thursday it had approved a prosecution request to investigate crimes against humanity against Myanmar's Rohingya minority who were systematically driven across the border to Bangladesh.
"The investigation over Myanmar by the ICC is not in accordance with international law," government spokesman Zaw Htay said at a news conference on Friday, Al Jazeera reports.
Zaw Htay repeated that Myanmar's own committees would investigate any abuses and ensure accountability if needed.
Myanmar has repeatedly defended the crackdown as necessary to stamp out fighters and has long refused to recognise the authority of the ICC - a position it reiterated on Friday.
Even though the country has not signed up to the court, the ICC ruled last year it has jurisdiction over crimes against the Rohingya because Bangladesh, where they are now refugees, is a member.
"Myanmar and the government are neither in denial nor closing our eyes," Zaw Htay said.
Gambia filed the case accusing Myanmar for systematic displacement, killing and widespread sexual assault on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.
Gambia, a small West African country with a largely Muslim population, was chosen to file the suit on behalf of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is also paying for the team of top international law experts handling the case.
More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since a 2017 crackdown by Myanmar's military, which UN investigators say was carried out with "genocidal intent". Buddhist majority Myanmar denies accusations of genocide.