ICC asks SA, Bu­rundi to re­con­sider with­drawal

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

THE HAGUE — The In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court on Satur­day asked South Africa and Bu­rundi to re­con­sider their de­ci­sions to with­draw from the trou­bled in­sti­tu­tion set up to try the world’s worst crimes.

“Al­though with­draw­ing from a treaty is a sov­er­eign act, I re­gret these de­ci­sions and in­vite South Africa and Bu­rundi to re­con­sider their po­si­tions,” said Sidiki Kaba, pres­i­dent of the as­sem­bly of state par­ties to the ICC found­ing treaty.

“I urge them to work to­gether with other States in the fight against im­punity, which of­ten causes mas­sive vi­o­la­tions of hu­man rights,” Kaba said in a state­ment.

The state­ment came a day af­ter South Africa dealt a ma­jor blow to the court by an­nounc­ing it would with­draw from the ICC.

The an­nounce­ment fol­lowed a dis­pute last year when Su­danese Pres­i­dent Omar al-Bashir vis­ited the coun­try de­spite be­ing the sub­ject of an ICC ar­rest war­rant over al­leged war crimes.

Ear­lier this month, Bu­rundi said it would leave the court, while Namibia and Kenya have also raised the pos­si­bil­ity.

The ICC, set up in 2002, is of­ten ac­cused of bias against Africa and has also strug­gled with a lack of co-op­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing from the United States which has signed the court’s treaty but never rat­i­fied it.

Kaba said he was con­cerned that South Africa and Bu­rundi’s de­ci­sions would “pave the way” for other African states to leave the court, which is tasked with “pros­e­cut­ing the most se­ri­ous crimes that shock the con­science of hu­man­ity, namely geno­cide, war crimes, crimes against hu­man­ity and crimes of ag­gres­sion”. — AFP

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