UN Advisor: African nations should not abandon ICC News
UN Advisor: African nations should not abandon ICC

African nations should not abandon the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website], UN Special Adviser Adama Dieng [official profile] urged in an editorial [The East African op-ed] Monday. Dieng, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, wrote in response to three African nations, Burundi, South Africa and The Gambia, after they announced intentions to withdraw from the court. These countries believe the court shows a lack of fairness and unfairly targets African leaders. Dieng said that membership to the ICC is something of which African nations should be proud, as 34 nations on the continent are currently parties to the Rome Statute [text, PDF]. Dieng wrote, “we believe that the ideals and values that inspired the creation of the Court still hold true, 15 years after the Rome Statute came into force.”

Last week leaders of multiple African countries announced that they have backed [JURIST report] a “strategy of collective withdrawal” from the ICC. In November JURIST Guest Columnist David Crane of Syracuse University College of Law discussed [JURIST op-ed] the need for the ICC to utilize politics to ensure its future. South Africa officially announced its intent to withdraw from the ICC in October and submitted a bill to withdraw [JURIST reports] in November. A few days after the announcement, Human Rights Watch criticized [JURIST report] South Africa for the decision. Shortly after South Africa’s announcement, the Gambian government announced [JURIST report] that it would be leaving the ICC. Earlier in October Burundi voted to withdraw [JURIST report] from the ICC amid criticism the court only prosecutes African nationals. Also in October the ICC president stated [JURIST report] that such withdrawals “represent a setback in the fight against impunity and the efforts towards the objective of universality of the Statute.”