Burundi becomes first country to leave ICC

Residents outside their houses in Nyakabiga, in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, look at the body of a man shot dead on December 11, 2015. © 2015 Jean Pierre Aimé Harerimana

By Tom Mugisha, tom.mugisha@alleastafrica.com

BUJUMBURA – Burundi has withdrawn from the International Criminal Court in a move that the Amnesty International has called ‘cynical’.

An ICC spokesman confirmed that the pullout took effect on Friday, a year after the East African nation announced its plan to leave prosecutes the world’s worst atrocities.

The Amnesty International’s Head of International Justice Matt Cannock said in a statement that the withdrawal from the Court won’t derail efforts to have justice for victims of violence in Burundi.

 “The Burundian government has made a cynical attempt to evade justice by taking the unprecedented step of withdrawing from the ICC. But perpetrators, including members of the security forces, cannot so easily shirk their alleged responsibility for crimes under international law committed since 2015,” he said.

Hundreds of people have been since 2015 violence following a failed coup attempt by a section of the army. Cannock said the withdrawal won’t absolve Burundi of its obligation to end the ongoing human rights violations.

 “The ICC can continue its preliminary investigations regardless of Burundi’s efforts to stop its work by withdrawing from the Court. Even if President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government will not cooperate with the Court, the ICC has ways and means to investigate and prosecute the crimes committed.”

Burundi accused the ICC of deliberately targeting Africans for prosecution. In September, the UN Commission of Inquiry into Burundi accused the government of committing crimes against humanity, including executions and torture, and urged the ICC to open a prosecution as soon as possible.

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  1. Subject: “Burundi becomes first country to leave ICC”By Tom Mugisha, Oct 27, 2017

    Commentary, 27 Oct 2017
    Burundi out of ICC!!! So WHAT? Will it make a difference to the Good People of BURUNDI? IT will NOT make an infinitesimal change to the way of Life for the African people. It is a game of African Dictators at the expense of their BRETHREN. NO CRUELTY on EARTH can match that BETRAYAL. THE END

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