South African indecision regarding withdrawal from International Criminal Court tarnishes international image
5 July 2018
With reference to the statement of Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, yesterday (4 July 2018) that South Africa’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) is currently being reconsidered, AfriForum said that this indecision is tarnishing South Africa’s international image. This issue has been in the spotlight since the South African government in 2015 during his visit to South Africa, failed to arrest and extradite Omar al-Bashir, controversial Sudanese President, to the ICC.
One of the reasons which government is conveying for the planned withdrawal is that the ICC is allegedly targeting African countries unfairly. In the past various other African countries had also threatened to withdraw from the ICC, but during the past year the commitment of these countries to such a withdrawal process have come to nothing. AfriForum questions the allegation that African countries are being targeted and furthermore argues that participating countries are particularly afforded with the opportunity to address the ICC’s possible shortcomings from within.
According to Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum responsible for international relations, government’s utterances in favour of withdrawal, as well as the uncertainty regarding whether or not it will continue with the process, are damaging for South Africa’s international image.
During talks in Europe and Britain this past month, senior members of the respective parliaments of the European Union (EU), Belgium, the Netherlands and Britain expressed their concerns to Bailey regarding South Africa’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and the protection of human rights.
“The possible withdrawal from the ICC and government’s lack of leadership displayed in this regard, most definitely contribute to these concerns and had repeatedly been voiced in conversations,” she adds.
Bailey recently visited Europe and Britain as part of AfriForum’s international campaign against expropriation without compensation.
Issued by Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO, AfriForum, 5 July 2018