The United Nations confirmed Monday that the International Criminal Court will not have jurisdiction in the West African nation of The Gambia as of November 2017.
The Gambia is among three African nations that made known their intention to withdraw from the world tribunal. The outspoken president of the country has long mulled attempts to withdraw from the Rome Statute after the court indicted Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta with his Vice President William Ruto.
President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia has been accused of gross human rights violations, including torture, arbitrary detention, and extra judicial executions. ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda was his former Attorney General and Justice Minister and is facing increased criticism for not opening an investigation into Gambian officials.
Burundi has also official notified the UN that it is withdrawing from the ICC. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said last month the withdrawal of Burundi, The Gambia, and South Africa would be a mistake. Gambia’s longest serving Justice Minister Hassan B. Jallow, who later became the Chief Prosecutor of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda pleaded with the Jammeh Administration to rescind the decision.
African leaders accuse the ICC of persecuting them with The Gambia calling the court “International Caucasian Court.”
(Reporting and Writing by Sainey MK Marenah; Additional Writing by Sam Phatey; Editing by Sam Phatey)