The Gambian government announced on Tuesday that it will be leaving the International Criminal Court (ICC) [website]. During the televised statement, Information Minister Sheriff Bojang criticized the court for ignoring western atrocities [Reuters report], referring to the ICC as “an International Caucasian Court.” Gambian President Yahya Jammeh had previously called [Reuters report] upon the court to investigate the death of African migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to access Europe. Instead, Gambia alleges, the ICC has been disproportionately scrutinizing African leaders. Gambia’s intended departure will be the third by an African nation.
Earlier this month South Africa and Burundi [JURIST reports] similarly announced their withdrawal from the ICC. The South African government originally expressed [Reuters report] such intentions last year when the nation refused to act on the ICC’s arrest warrant for visiting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. The nation’s Justice Minister stated that the country’s ICC membership conflicts with South Africa’s Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act (DIPA) [text, PDF]. Vice President Gaston Sindimwo of Burundi previously announced the country’s decision to withdraw from the ICC amid criticism the court only prosecutes African nationals.