President promulgates Burundi withdrawal from ICC

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza

On 18 October, Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza has promulgated the law on the withdrawal of Burundi from the International Criminal Court.Following the decision, the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, H.E. Mr. Sidiki Kaba, expressed concern about this development. “The withdrawal from the Statute by a State Party would represent a setback in the fight against impunity and the efforts towards the objective of universality of the Statute,” said President Kaba. “I remind that all States Parties have the opportunity to share their concerns before the Assembly of States Parties in accordance with the Statute and invite the Burundian authorities to engage in a dialogue.”

For Gaston Sindimwo, the First Vice President of the republic, Burundi has decided to withdraw from ICC because Burundians have noticed that the court intends to judge Burundians unfairly. The court works on false and partial testimonies. Burundi government has not been listened to. He condemns the recent UN experts report on the situation of human rights in Burundi. “Burundi has made a good decision to protest against the injustice of the colonial powers towards the Burundian people,” concludes Sindimwo.

In April 2016, ICC has opened a preliminary examination into human rights abuses committed in Burundi since the outbreak of the current crisis that has caused hundreds of deaths and forced over 230,000 Burundians to seek refuge in neighboring countries.

The International Criminal Court is the first international permanent jurisdiction in charge of prosecuting genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Rome Statute of ICC entered into force on 1 July 2002 and has 124 States Parties to date.