South Africa's Withdrawal Would Send Signal that Impunity is Valued Over Justice

(Amsterdam, NL) Upon adoption of the Rome Statute, African civil society, including Congolese human rights organizations, played an important role to support initiatives promoting international criminal responsibility, providing a great contribution to efforts designed to create an environment conducive to fighting impunity for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.
 
The 1998 Rome Statue needed the ratification of 60 State Parties before entering into force on July, 1st 2002. Thirty-four African states are party to the Rome Statute.
 
The establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is, and will remain, one of the most necessary and important institutions established in the 21st Century.  The mission, and message, is clear: impunity for mass crimes cannot and will not be tolerated. No one is above the law, including heads of state or others seeking immunity. Militia leaders are on notice that the most serious crimes will not go unpunished.
 
The jurisdiction of the ICC is limited to situations when a State party is not willing or is unable to prosecute genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity, and when the United Nations Security Council refers a case to the Court.
 
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