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South Africa Plans to Leave ICC

October 12, 2015

According to Deputy Minister, Obed Bapela, the  South African government will begin the process to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC).

 

The ANC, South Africa's ruling party, and the presidency faces criticism for ignoring a court order to arrest Sudan's president earlier this year.

 

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, accused of genocide and war crimes, visited the country in June, but was allowed to leave despite a court order to detain him. The SA government last week asked the ICC for more time to explain why it allowed this.

 

"The principles that led us to be members [of the ICC] remain valid and relevant... however the ICC has lost its direction unfortunately and is no longer pursuing that principle of an instrument that is fair for everybody," Bapela told reporters during a briefing in Midrand where the African National Congress is holding its National General Council meeting. (Source)
 

"South Africa still holds the flag of human rights, we are not lowering it," he said, adding parliament would now debate ICC membership.
 

The ANC commands a comfortable majority in the legislature of Africa's most advanced economy, with more than 60 percent of the vote.


The decision will fuel the growing momentum of an African push to abandon The Hague and set up a regional court that would give immunity to African leaders.

 

South Africa and other African governments have accused the ICC of showing anti-African and pro-Western bias. They complain that the court has only prosecuted Africans so far, while the United States and European nations seem exempt from prosecution. (source)

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