Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Gambia Says Withdrawing From International Court Targeting ‘People of Colour’

African leaders accuse of the ICC “witch-hunting” but rights groups said it's a good mechanism for justice (Photo taken from Veterans Today)

The Gambia announced Tuesday evening that is withdrawing its membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC), calling it “an International Caucasian Court for the persecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans."

The move comes exactly three years after the African Union threatened to lead a mass withdrawal of African countries membership of the ICC over allegations of “witch-hunting African leaders” and in protest at the trial of Kenya’s William Ruto.

ICC is a permanent international judicial body set up to try individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes where national courts are unable or unwilling to do so. It's a court of last resort.
This month, Burundi and South Africa made public their plans to leave the ICC. Kenya, whose leaders were indicted by the Court, also plans to quit.

Gambia’s Minister of Information, Sheriff Bojang, criticized the Court of selective justice, citing potential war-crimes indictment for ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair over the Iraq war that has been overlooked by The Hague-based ICC.

"There are many Western countries, at least 30, that have committed heinous war crimes against independent sovereign states and their citizens since the creation of the ICC and not a single Western war criminal has been indicted," he said in a televised statement on October 25.

Bojang said "The Gambia took the European Union to the ICC about a year ago for the mass murder, the genocide of thousands of young Africans on European coastal waters, and since then, nothing has been heard from the ICC."

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, had in 2014, called for a United Nations investigation into the "man-made sinking" of boats carrying African migrants to Europe.

He said the death of more than 500 Gambians is as a result of the "very dangerous, racist and inhuman behavior of deliberately causing boats carrying black Africans to sink."

In October 2013, the Yahya Jammeh-led Government of The Gambia pulled the West African country out of the Commonwealth, a 54-member organization mainly of former British colonies – citing neo-colonial tendencies.

Written by Modou S. Joof

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