UN Chief urges Gambia, Burundi, South Africa not to withdraw from the ICC

UN Chief urges Gambia, Burundi, South Africa not to withdraw from the ICC

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said that the withdrawal of three African nations from the International Criminal Court, which is the centerpiece of international justice, would be a mistake.

The UN Chief, whose term is at its end acknowledged that so far, only Africans had been convicted, despite evidence of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in other parts of the world.4

Nations refer cases to the world tribunal and it needs the cooperation of governments to execute warrants and provide evidence.

“I regret these steps, which could send a wrong message on these countries commitments to justice,” Moon said. “These challenges are best addressed not by diminishing support for the court, but by strengthening it from within.”

Many others are awaiting Kenya’s withdrawal, whose president, Uhuru Kenyatta was the first sitting head of state to appear before the court in 2013.

Although The Gambia and South Africa has not officially notified the UN, Burundi has sent its official letter to Mr. Moon notifying the world body of its withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the ICC.

President Yahya Jammeh who has been accused of gross rights violations is more than likely to move ahead with the withdrawal. A former Attorney General of The Gambia and UN Chief Prosecutor for the Rwandan tribunal, Hassan B. Jallow has urged his native Gambia to reconsider the decision.

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