13 July 2017

South Africa: ICC Not the Only Instrument for Balancing Justice and Reconciliation

analysis

The court was in essence forcing South Africa to choose between carrying out its obligations in terms of the Rome Statute and arresting a sitting Head of State while he was attending a summit as a guest of the African Union: a decision with far-reaching and potentially disastrous foreign policy implications.

Last week's decision by the Pre-Trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that South Africa violated its legal obligations to the court in failing to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2015; vindicates the ANC's position that South Africa should withdraw from the ICC.

The court was in essence forcing South Africa to choose between carrying out its obligations in terms of the Rome Statute and arresting a sitting Head of State while he was attending a summit as a guest of the African Union: a decision with far-reaching and potentially disastrous foreign policy implications.

Far from being praised for our efforts to promote peace and stability in the region, South Africa would have been regarded as having been a "player" in the conflict - with consequences for our peacekeepers in Sudan, and for the country as a whole.

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