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Burundi becomes first country to leave International Criminal Court

ANI | Updated: Oct 27, 2017 15:59 IST

Johannesburg [South Africa], October 27 (ANI): Burundi is all set to become the first country to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

An ICC spokesperson confirmed that the pull out takes effect on Friday.

Last year, on October 27, the East African nation presented its letter of intent to former Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon to begin with the one year withdrawal process, local media reported.

The process of withdrawal from the ICC was also initiated by The Gambia under exiled former President Yahya Jammeh over alleged ICC's bias towards western countries.

Gambia's new government revoked its withdrawal.

Burundi has faced deadly political turmoil since 2015.

Amnesty International has labeled Burundi's move as 'cynical' and its head of International Justice Matt Cannock said, "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 added.

"The ICC can continue its preliminary investigations regardless of Burundi's efforts to stop its work by withdrawing from the Court," he added.

The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) was established by a Rome Statute adopted in 1998 to prosecute international crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed within the territory of signatories and nationals of signatory countries.

It came into force on July 1, 2002. (ANI)