Justice Hassan Baboucarr Jallow of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has called on the Gambia Government to reconsider its decision on the country’s withdrawal from the ICC.
It could be recalled that the Gambia Government, on Tuesday 25 October 2016, through the Information Minister, Sheriff Bojang announced its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) of the United Nations based in The Hague. According to Minister Bojang, the reason for the Gambia’s decision to withdraw from the ICC is because the former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair is not being brought before the court for prosecution, among others.
In a press release received yesterday, Justice Jallow expressed his dismay and disappointment of the reported decision of the Government of The Gambia to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“The ICC is today an important court of last resort for victims of international crimes worldwide,” he said. Justice Jallow noted that African States and The Gambia in particular have very strongly supported the court. He therefore urged them to continue doing so to ensure justice for victims and accountability for perpetrators of international crimes.
According to him the challenges which currently confront the ICC and state parties to the Rome Statute can in his view be resolved through a dialogue which will see the continued engagement of the Gambia and the rest of Africa with the ICC.
“I appeal very strongly to His Excellency the President Sheikh Professor Alhagie Yahya AJJ Jammeh Babili Mansa and his government to reconsider and reverse the decision to withdraw the Gambia from the Rome Statute of the ICC,” he said. He also reiterate the call by the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA) of which he is a member, for Burundi and South Africa to similarly reconsider their decisions and retain their membership of the Rome Statute. Justice Jallow also believes that the ICC should now initiate a dialogue with the concern state parties and work a resolution of their concerns in a way that will promote the cause of Justice and accountability globally. “I appeal to the organs of the ICC to do so,” he stressed. He noted that AGIA remains available to facilitate this process.