AU Summit 2017: Member States Set For A Mass Withdrawal From ICC


Resulting from the recent AU summit on Tuesday in Addis Ababa, it has been hinted that there will be a massive withdrawal of African countries from the International Criminal Court.

After much deliberations over what the exit strategy would be – whether collectively or individually, report says that African leaders have adopted a strategy calling for a collective withdrawal from the International Criminal Court

Last year 3 African countries announced their withdrawal from the ICC. Russia equally pulled out, accusing the court of being “one-sided and inefficient”.

See Also: Russia Pulls Out From ICC As Calls Increases To Investigate Putin Over Syrian Airstrikes

According to Russia, it was disturbing that in a long period of 14 years, the international legal body has spent $1 billion and has passed “only four verdicts”.

Backing the claims of operating with bias, African nations that are members also share the same view. They find if unfair that African leaders are constantly the subject of their investigations and sanctions.

The international court pioneered by Kofi Anan, fears that having many African countries withdraw from the Rome Statute of the ICC will be harmful especially for countries with autocratic and controversial leaders.

Pulling out of the legal body could make them compromise on adhering to the rule of law and democratic principles. In other words, the body helps to ensure justice and fairness for member countries.

See Also: ‘Western Democracy’ should Not Be Forced Down Africa’s Throat- Pope Francis

Burundi, Gambia and South Africa said they would no longer recognize the court’s jurisdiction and announced their intention to quit in 2016.

Still, as a point of concern during the AU summit on Tuesday African heads have expressed worry that only countries in the continent seemed to be probe targets. Out of the 10 cases handled in 2016 by the court, 9 involved African leaders.

African leaders largely insinuate that the court which should be free from external influence is dependent on power nations of the world.

Other countries who have not signed the treaty are the United States, India, China and some other Middle Eastern states.

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