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South Africa withdraws from quitting ICC



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Months after declaring its intention to quit the International Criminal Court (ICC), the South African government has withdrawn its intention to leave the Hague-based war crimes tribunal after its High Court blocked the government’s bid to pull out.

According to a notification sent to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres South Africa is revoking its decision because of the High Court decision, “the Instrument of Withdrawal was found to be unconstitutional and invalid,” the document posted on the U.N. treaties website read.

Pretoria had initially notified the United Nations of its intent to withdraw in October, starting a year-long divorce period that would have made South Africa the first country to quit the court in October this year.

Read also: Barrow says Gambia will not quit ICC

Last month, newly sworn-in President of the Gambia Adama Barrow declared that his country will not quit the International Court of Justice (ICC) in a move which reverses the previous administration’s plan to withdraw from the tribunal.

Barrow’s declaration came days after member states of the African Union backed a collective strategy to quit the International Criminal Court (ICC) after a divisive debate at its annual heads of state summit in Addis Ababa.

Recall last year that, South Africa, Gambia and Burundi – signalled their intention to quit what is the world’s first permanent global war crimes court but the first two mentioned countries have backed out of their initial intention leaving Burundi as the only country seeking to leave the ICC.


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