Gambia to stay in ICC

File: Judges of the International Criminal Court in The Hague in September 2016. The Gambia has gone back on a decision to withdraw from the tribunal. Photo: BAS CZERWINSKI / ANP / AFP

JOHANNESBURG – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed the rescission of the Gambia’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

According to statement issued by his spokesperson, Guterres “welcomes that The Gambia will remain a State Party to the International Criminal Court’s founding instrument”.

“He remains confident that States Parties will continue to further strengthen the court through a constructive dialogue,” the statement added. The notification concerning the rescission of withdrawal was delivered to the UN chief on 10 February.

READ: Leaving the ICC will 'help SA negotiate peace in Africa'

The Gambia had formally notified the UN chief, who is the depository of the Rome Statute of the ICC, of its withdrawal from the Rome Statute in November last year – a decision which the secretary-general deeply regretted, noted the statement.

The statement further noted that over the past two decades the world had made decisive strides towards building a truly global system of international criminal justice, with the ICC as its centrepiece.

It added that The Gambia, like so many other African countries, played a major role in the negotiations leading to the adoption of the Rome Statute and was among its first signatories.

The ICC’s founding Rome Statute sets out the court’s jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and – as of an amendment in 2010 – the crime of aggression.

In addition to jurisdiction, it also addresses issues such as admissibility and applicable law, the composition and administration of the Court, investigations and prosecution, trials, penalties, appeal and revision, international cooperation and judicial assistance, and enforcement.

African News Agency

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