New Gambian President Adama Barrow [BBC profile] has confirmed [tweet] through a top EU official that The Gambia will remain in the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. Neven Mimica [official profile], the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, was in The Gambia to announce a package of financial support [press release] for the country and reported the decision after meeting with Barrow. Last October then-president Yahya Jammeh had stated that the country intended to leave the international court dedicated to trying instances of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity because the court had allegedly been disproportionately scrutinizing African leaders. Jammeh referred to the court through Information Minister Sheriff Bojang as the “International Caucasian Court.”
The Gambia was the third country that had announced plans to leave the ICC or had actually done so within the last several years [JURIST report]. In October South Africa and Burundi [JURIST reports] similarly announced their withdrawal from the ICC. The South African government originally expressed [Reuters report] such intentions in 2015 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.