October 27, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan has backed Gambia’s decision to quit the International Criminal Court (ICC) after South Africa and Burundi, blamed the UN Security Council for ignoring the African concerns over the war crimes court.
The Hague based court has been accused of unjustly targeting Africa officials while similar crimes are not investigated in Europe and elsewhere. Recently, South Africa and Burundi decided to leave the court. Gambia is the latest African state to withdraw from the international body.
Last July, the African Union once again requested the Security Council to suspend the referral of the case of Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir and to terminate or suspend the case of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto of Kenya at the ICC until Africa’s concerns and proposals for amendments to the Rome Statute of the ICC are considered.
Sudan’s Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Abdel-Ghani al-Naeem Thursday told Sudan Tribune that the African Union following Kigali Summit last July sought to meet the Security Council over the ICC but the 15-member body didn’t respond to their demand.
"The summit agreed that if the cases of Bashir and Ruto of Kenya are not suspended the African countries would consider pulling out of the court," Al-Naeem said.
"In the absence of response from the Security Council to meet with the African Group, any country has the right to withdraw. It is a right and something possible," he stressed.
The Sudanese diplomat predicted other countries would follow South Africa, Burundi and Gambia, pointing that this court is politicized and targetting African.
Gambian Information Minister Sheriff Bojang on Tuesday accused the ICC of ignoring the "war crimes" of Western nations, adding it seeks only to prosecute Africans.
"There are many Western countries, at least 30, that have committed heinous war crimes against independent sovereign states and their citizens since the creation of the ICC and not a single Western war criminal has been indicted," he said.
According to the Turkish news agency, Anadolu, the Ethiopian Government Spokesperson Getachew Reda on Wednesday welcomed the withdrawal of the African states describing it as "an important step in line with the position of the African leaders to withdraw from the international court".
He further said the court is "selective and targeting African leaders".
Ethiopia is not a state party to the ICC statute, but it chairs the African Union ministerial group tasked with the implementation of Kigali summit resolution on the war crimes court.
Sudan which is not a state member to Rome Statute has been campaigning for an African withdrawal from the ICC which has charged president Omer Hassan al-Bashir with ten counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide connected to the Darfur conflict.