Home | News    Saturday 22 October 2016

South Africa to withdraw from the International Criminal Court

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Pre-Trial Chamber I (ICC Website)

October 21, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - South Africa on Friday disclosed it is pulling out of the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), making the country the second this week, after Burundi, to leave the tribunal.

Last year, South Africa’s government said it is planning to withdraw from the tribunal after it was criticized for failing to arrest the visiting Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir who stands accused by the ICC of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

At a press conference on Friday, South Africa’s justice minister, Michael Masutha, said the “ICC’s obligations are inconsistent with domestic laws giving sitting leaders diplomatic immunity”.

“The implementation of the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court Act 2002 is in conflict and inconsistent with the provisions of the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act 2001,” he added.

Any move to leave the tribunal would take effect one year after notice is formally received by the United Nations Secretary General.

On Friday, the public broadcaster SABC published a letter entitled “Instrument of Withdrawal” outlining South Africa’s withdrawal plan.

According to the letter signed by international relations minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the country “found that its obligations with respect to the peaceful resolution of conflicts at times are incompatible with the interpretation given by the International Criminal Court”.

On the other hand, South Africa’s move has sparked a wave of criticism from a number of human rights groups.

In a statement on Friday, Human Rights Watch said South Africa’s proposed withdrawal “shows startling disregard for justice from a country long seen as a global leader on accountability for victims of the gravest crimes”.

It added that “It’s important both for South Africa and the region that this runaway train be slowed down and South Africa’s hard-won legacy of standing with victims of mass atrocities be restored.”

For its part, Amnesty International (AI) denounced South Africa’s government decision to pull out of the ICC and described it as a “deep betrayal of millions of victims worldwide”.

“Parliament must urgently convene to reconsider the government’s decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute, the founding instrument of the International Criminal Court,” AI said in a press statement on Friday.

Netsanet Belay, AI’s research and advocacy director for Africa, said that South Africa’s “sudden notice to withdraw from the ICC is deeply disappointing”.

“In making this move, the country is betraying millions of victims of the gravest human rights violations and undermining the international justice system,” he said
“South Africa’s support for the ICC, after the country suffered through decades of apartheid, was an important step towards creating rights respecting societies around the world,” Belay added.

Several African governments and the African Union (AU) have voiced concerns over the ICC’s fairness, and accused it of targeting African leaders.

They further to say that war crimes court has violated its founding treaty the Rome Statute, when it prosecutes cases investigate by the national jurisdiction.

Last July, the 27th AU summit held in the Rwandan capital Kigali did not call for a mass withdrawal from the court, despite calls by several African leaders including Sudan. However, an African Union ministerial committee is debating the issue and is expected to present reform demands at the next meeting of ICC assembly of states parties, in November.

Just days ago, Burundi became the first country ever to withdraw from the ICC. The country’s parliament overwhelmingly approved the proposal, and the president signed it into law on Tuesday.

Established in 2002 to try war criminals and perpetrators of genocide never tried at home, the ICC has opened inquiries involving nine nations, including Kenya, Ivory Coast, Libya, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda, Mali and, most recently, Georgia.

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Armed Struggle and Civil Resistance in Sudan: A catch 22 situation 2017-01-22 08:22:12 By Elwathig Kameir 1. The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) issued a press statement, on Jan. 17, declining a US initiative (of which I have seen a copy) for the delivery and (...)

Civil lawsuit on behalf of Sudanese victims against BNP Paribas 2017-01-22 08:13:14 Civil lawsuit on behalf of Sudanese victims of Khartoum's atrocity crimes brought against BNP Paribas in U.S. Federal District Court (filed January 20, 2017) By Eric Reeves The civil suit (...)

Gen. Paul Malong Awan: The impeccable multi-purpose hero 2017-01-22 06:24:04 By Akol Ayom Wekdit No doubt about it. South Sudan has, indeed, produced a hero and a leader only described in superlatives. On the continent and abroad, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, the SPLA Chief of (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Abduction of S. Sudan Chief Justice’s aide illegal, should be condemned 2017-01-16 05:27:50 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16th January 2015 Legal Watch Associates South Sudan has learned with shock and dismay the abduction of Mr Gama Thomas, an aide to the Chief Justice, Chan Reech Madut. (...)

Carter Center welcomes new regulations on humanitarian affairs 2017-01-12 07:53:16 The Carter Center ATLANTA, Januarg 11, 2017 – The Carter Center welcomes the recent regulations issued by the government of Sudan aimed at facilitating humanitarian relief throughout the country (...)

Nertiti massacre in Central Darfur exposes the criminal nature of Bashir’s regime 2017-01-03 11:54:47 Sudan Democracy First Group Nirtiti massacre in Central Darfur exposes the criminal nature of Bashir's regime 2 January 2017 On the first day of 2016, and only one day after President Bashir's (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.