Tambadou is a 47-year-old Gambian lawyer and politician who made it to the ‘pioneer’ list. His work to end violence against the Rohingya community who have faced forced displacements, summary executions and sexual violence all in the name of “clearance operations” is highly commendable.
“Moved by his 2018 visit to a refugee camp in Bangladesh where he heard the haunting testimonies of Rohingya survivors, Tambadou and his government brought a case before the International Court of Justice, accusing Myanmar of perpetrating genocide.
“In January 2020 they won an extraordinary initial ruling against Myanmar and its leader (and courtroom defender) Aung San Suu Kyi, as the judges ordered that Myanmar “take all measures within its power” to stop violent attacks against the Rohingya while the court continues to investigate the country’s past actions,” writes Samantha Power.
According to Power, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and author of The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir, Tambodou’s actions to get involved in a matter that was ignored by other world leaders was because he wished there was much help when the Gambia was under dictatorship for two decades by other world leaders. His main reason however is that it is the right thing to do.
“International law is not the exclusive preserve of the rich and powerful countries… you do not have to have military power or economic power to stand for justice, to stand for what is right. We are doing this in the name of humanity.”