Navigation
Suscribe
Menu Search Facebook Twitter
Search Close
Menu ALL SECTIONS
  • Capital Coahuila
  • Capital Hidalgo
  • Capital Jalisco
  • Capital Morelos
  • Capital Oaxaca
  • Capital Puebla
  • Capital Quintana Roo
  • Capital Querétaro
  • Capital Veracruz
  • Capital México
  • Capital Michoacán
  • Capital Mujer
  • Reporte Índigo
  • Estadio Deportes
  • The News
  • Efekto
  • Diario DF
  • Capital Edo. de Méx.
  • Green TV
  • Revista Cambio
Radio Capital
Pirata FM
Capital Máxima
Capital FM
Digital
Prensa
Radio
TV
X
Newsletter
Facebook Twitter
X Welcome! Subscribe to our newsletter and receive news, data, statistical and exclusive promotions for subscribers
World

Why African States Started Leaving the ICC

Concerns are high that more African countries now will act on years of threats to pull out amid accusations that the court unfairly focuses on the continent

The International Criminal Court headquarters, in The Hague, Netherlands, photo: Wikipedia
11 months ago

JOHANNESBURG — Until last week, no country had withdrawn from the International Criminal Court. Now, three African states — South Africa, Burundi and Gambia — have made official decisions to leave. Gambia announced its decision late Tuesday.

Withdrawal doesn’t happen when a country announces it. The country must officially notify the U.N. secretary-general of its intention to leave, and the pullout becomes effective one year after the receipt of that notice. So far, the U.N. has said it has received South Africa’s notice, and the one-year countdown started Wednesday. Countries still have to cooperate with any ICC proceedings that begin before withdrawal takes effect.

Here are some reasons why African countries are opting out.

South Africa’s minister of justice and correctional services, Michael Masutha, speaks to the press in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. Photo: AP

SOMEONE TO TAKE ON GENOCIDE

Many in the international community cheered when the treaty to create the ICC, the Rome Statute, was adopted in 1998 as a way to pursue some of the world’s worst atrocities: genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Not all countries signed on, and as of last week, the treaty had 124 member states. Notable countries that have not joined include the United States, China, Russia and India. Some countries are wary of The Hague, Netherlands-based court’s powers, seeing it as potential interference.

AFRICAN FRUSTRATIONS, AND THREATS

Only Africans have been charged in the six ICC cases that are ongoing or about to begin, though preliminary ICC investigations have been opened elsewhere in the world, in places like Colombia and Afghanistan.

Experts point out that most of the ICC cases in Africa were referred to the court by African countries themselves or the U.N. Security Council. One case that caused considerable anger among African leaders was the ICC’s pursuit of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta for his alleged role in the deadly violence that erupted after his country’s 2007 presidential election. The case later collapsed amid prosecution claims of interference with witnesses and non-cooperation by Kenyan authorities.

The African Union has called for immunity from prosecution for heads of state, and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at his inauguration in May — with al-Bashir in attendance — declared the ICC to be “useless.”

 In this  Oct. 25, 2011 file photo Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attends the funeral of Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah mosque in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo: AP/Hassan Ammar

In this Oct. 25, 2011 file photo Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attends the funeral of Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo: AP/Hassan Ammar

THE TRAVELS OF AL-BASHIR

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has become a symbol of the limitations facing the ICC, which does not have a police force and relies on the cooperation of member states. Al-Bashir has been wanted by the tribunal for alleged genocide and other crimes in Sudan’s Darfur region after the U.N. Security Council first referred the case to the ICC in 2005. Since then, however, al-Bashir has visited a number of ICC member states, including Malawi, Kenya, Chad and Congo. His visit to South Africa in June 2015 caused uproar, and he quickly left as a court there ordered his arrest. The ICC has no power to compel countries to arrest people and can only tell them they have a legal obligation to do it.

HEADING OUT

Burundi kicked off the ICC departures this month when lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to leave the tribunal, just months after the court announced it would investigate recent political violence there. President Pierre Nkurunziza signed the bill last week. South Africa last week announced it would leave as well, saying that handing a leader over to the ICC would amount to interference in another country’s affairs. It’s a dramatic turnaround for a country that was an early supporter of the court’s creation in the years after South Africa emerged from white minority rule and near-global isolation. With one of Africa’s most developed countries now pulling out, observers feared that more states would follow — and now Gambia is doing so.

 

 

 

CARA ANNA

Comments Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
More From The News
Mexico

Mexico Quake Rescuers Race to Free Girl, ...

5 hours ago
World

Battle against I.S. in Raqqa is in 'Fina ...

5 hours ago
Mexico

Soft Soil Makes Mexico City Shake Like i ...

6 hours ago
Mexico

Mexican Red Cross Providing Assistance f ...

7 hours ago
Most Popular

7.1 Magnitude Quake Kills 139 as Buildui ...

By The Associated Press
Mexico

Mexicans Dig through Collapsed Buildings ...

By The Associated Press
Mexico

Rescuers Wriggle into Collapsed School a ...

By The Associated Press
Mexico

TUSGS Says Mexico Quake Magnitude 7.1

By The Associated Press
Mexico

Rescuers Continue Hope of Rescuing More ...

By Notimex
Mexico