Gambia will open its case against Myanmar before the UN's top court in December thrusting the Rohingya's plight back into the spotlight a year after prosecutors at the International Criminal Court launched an inquiry into the case.
The Muslim-majority small African nation will ask the International Court of Justice to make an emergency injunction to protect the Rohingya, pending a decision on whether to deal with the wider case, AFP reports.
Earlier, Gambia requested that the International Court of Justice issue an urgent temporary injunction ordering Myanmar to halt all actions that could aggravate or expand the existing situation. That could mean a demand to stop further extrajudicial killings, rape, hate speech, or leveling of the homes where Rohingya once lived in Rakhine State
Gambia's case at the ICJ accuses Myanmar of breaching the 1948 UN Genocide Convention through a brutal military campaign targeting the Rohingya minority in Rakhine state.
The ICJ said in a statement that it "will hold public hearings in the case" from December 10 to 12. "The hearings will be devoted to the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by the Republic of The Gambia," it added.
Legal endeavours of such nature tend to drag on for years and cost millions of dollars, which is a heavy lift for a country with a gross domestic product of about $1.48 billion.
Supporters with deep pockets, however, are helping the Gambia financially.
The Muslim-majority nation of 2 million people is backed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a group of 57 states that calls itself the "voice of the Muslim World," and by the US law firm Foley Hoag.
In the interim, the lawyers are seeking what is known as "provisional measures" - an order demanding Myanmar to stop harming the Rohingyas while the court considers the full case. The judges at The Hague-based court could rule on that as early as next month.
That court, however, has no jurisdiction over proceedings in Myanmar, which is not a member country, so efforts stalled.
But the 15 judges of the ICJ can rule on disputes stemming from the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which applies to the killing of, "in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group."
Gambia and Myanmar are signatories to the pact.
Some 740,000 Rohingya were forced to flee into sprawling camps in Bangladesh after a brutal 2017 military crackdown, in violence that United Nations investigators say amounts to genocide.
Gambia's lawyers said it wants the ICJ to announce urgent emergency measures "to protect the Rohingya against further harm."
The case will be the first international legal attempt to bring Myanmar to justice over allegations of crimes against the Rohingya, and is a rare example of a country suing another over an issue to which it is not directly a party.
The ICJ was set up in 1946 after World War II to adjudicate in disputes between UN member states.
Separately the International Criminal Court -- another Hague-based court which was set up in 2002 to probe war crimes -- on Thursday authorised its chief prosecutor to launch a full investigation into the persecution of the Rohingya.
Rights groups meanwhile filed a separate lawsuit over the Rohingya in Argentina in which Myanmar's former democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi was personally named.
Myanmar has repeatedly defended the crackdown on the Rohingya as necessary to stamp out militants.
It has not reacted to the ICJ case, but said last week that the ICC investigation was "not in accordance with international law".