Gambia quits International Criminal Court

Gambia quits International Criminal Court

Gambia is withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, accusing the world body of ignoring the “war crimes” of Western nations and seeking only to prosecute Africans.

The decision by the tiny West African nation, whose president, Yahya Jammeh, has called on the court to investigate African migrant deaths on the Mediterranean, comes just days after South Africa said it was quitting The Hague-based tribunal.

“This action is warranted by the fact that the ICC, despite being called the International Criminal Court, is in fact an International Caucasian Court for the persecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans,” Information Minister Sheriff Bojang said on state television.

The ICC was not immediately available for comment. But coming so soon after South Africa’s announcement, Gambia’s move adds to pressure on the world’s first permanent war crimes court.

The ICC has had to fight off allegations of pursuing a neo-colonial agenda in Africa, where all but one of its 10 investigations have been based.

Burundi has already said it plans to leave and Kenya’s parliament is considering following suit.