Bu­rundi formally no­ti­fies UN of ICC pullout

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

NEW YORK — Bu­rundi on Thurs­day formally no­ti­fied the United Na­tions of its with­drawal from the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court, deal­ing a blow to the tri­bunal seen as a pil­lar of in­ter­na­tional jus­tice.

South Africa was the first to take the for­mal step at the United Na­tions last week and Gam­bia has also said it plans to pull out of the Rome treaty that cre­ated the ICC.

Bu­rundi’s jus­tice min­is­ter Lau­ren­tine Kanyana per­son­ally de­liv­ered the for­mal let­ter to UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon’s of­fice.

The with­drawal takes ef­fect one year af­ter the let­ter is re­ceived.

The United Na­tions is call­ing on South Africa and Bu­rundi to re­verse their de­ci­sions.

“That with­drawal can be with­drawn,” spokesper­son Stephane Du­jar­ric said.

Bu­rundi’s move came af­ter a UN en­voy was dis­patched to Bu­jum­bura for cri­sis talks.

The UN en­voy Ja­mal Beno­mar was in Bu­jum­bura meet­ing with lead­ers to try to defuse ten­sions over the ICC pullout and the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to break ties with the UN rights of­fice.

Set up in 2002, the ICC is of­ten ac­cused of bias against Africa. The ICC in April launched a pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion of al­le­ga­tions of killings, tor­ture and other rights abuses in Bu­rundi.

A re­port by UN rights ex­perts has blamed Pres­i­dent Pierre Nku­run­z­iza’s se­cu­rity forces and po­lice for the vi­o­lence that has torn the coun­try since 2015. — AFP. the UN

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