Burundi’s vote to withdraw from war crimes court stirs concern in The Hague

Burundi’s vote to withdraw from war crimes court stirs concern in The Hague

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 3:27 pm

The court has spoken!The International Criminal Court (ICC), governing body said on Tuesday, that the Burundi’s parliamentary vote last week to leave the court poses “a setback in the fight against impunity.

Burundi’s parliament voted overwhelmingly on Oct. 12 to withdraw from Rome Statute, the 1998 treaty establishing the global court, which would make it the first country to quit.

Sidiki Kaba, Head of the ICC’s governing body, said he was concerned that the vote would undermine “efforts towards the objective of universality” and called on Burundi to “engage in a dialogue”.

The ICC opened a preliminary investigation in April into Burundi, looking into killings, imprisonment, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence, as well as disappearances of persons.

Investigation by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) revealed that Burundi’s parliamentary vote would go into force one year after it has submitted a formal withdrawal notification to the United Nations.

The country would still be required to cooperate with any ongoing cases before the court.

The ICC, which opened in July 2002 and has 124 member states, is the first legal body with permanent international jurisdiction to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Report said that several African countries have expressed concern that its focus has been on Africa rather than anywhere else in the world. (Reuters/NAN)


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