Gambia Leaves the ICC, the Third African Nation to Do So

(GPA) Netherlands – This week Gambia has announced they will pull their support and members in the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.

Gambian Information Minister Sheriff Bojang cited the bias in the operation of the court that decides which nations it chooses to prosecute or not. This makes Gambia the third African country to leave the court following Burundi and South Africa.

Many were surprised by this decision for any reasons, the primary one being that the chief prosecutor in the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, is Gambian. Yet this makes perfect sense when you realize Bensouda has been trying to bring charges against member states of the European Union concerning their treatment of African migrants that reach (or die trying to reach) their shores.

The migrant question is only one instance that has upset several African nations when it comes to visible exemption of western nations from prosecution. Bojang also cited the ICC being unwilling to prosecute for British prime minister Tony Blair for proven lies concerning the Iraq war.

Bojang said there are “at least 30” western nations that have committed a range of crimes and not a “single war criminal has been indicted.” There are currently six cases on the docket at the ICC and all of them are charges against Africans. It’s this hostile atmosphere that led Bojang to say “the ICC, despite being called international criminal court, is in fact an international caucasian court for the persecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans.”

The western powers like the United States, helped establish the ICC yet currently are either not charged or ignore rulings against them anyway. The only time large western powers use the ICC is typically for propaganda reasons; doing such futile things as charging ISIS (a not state actor) for war crimes or getting their agenda in places like the South China Sea cemented into world policy. Even if the court does something brave like trying to prosecute a US ally – like Israel – western powers will claim the court is biased and disregard the decision.

The ICC truly is a pretty blatant farce. The western powers rarely come in front of a tribunal and -as stated here – even when they do, there’s nothing that can be done to punish them anyway. Gambia may be the third country to leave The Hague but if there is no actual enforcement to international law, they probably won’t be the last.

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