South Africa has announced its intention to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). According to the Daily Maverick, South African diplomats delivered a formal notice of withdrawal to the Rome Statute of the ICC, initiating a year-long process. In its deposition, South Africa accused the Hague-based court of bias against African countries. South Africa maintains that there are examples of inequality and unfairness in the conduct of the ICC, its relationship with the Security Council, and to the court’s alleged focus on crimes committed in Africa, despite there being evidence of similar violations existing on other continents.
The ICC was established in 1998 under the Rome Statute, with many African countries as signatories. In the years since, the court has indicted 36 individuals who all happen to be from Africa.
South Africa’s decision to withdraw from the ICC echoes the position of many African countries that have accused the court of discrimination. In 2009, several African countries including Senegal, Djibouti, and the Comoros called on Africa to withdraw en masse from the ICC to protest allegations that the court unfairly targets African countries.
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Face2Face Africa compiled a list of five African countries that are likely to withdraw from the ICC and follow in the steps of South Africa and Burundi.