Minister tells Parliament that Malawi will not withdraw from International Criminal Court

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23 February, 2017

South Africa's withdrawal announcement followed a 2015 dispute over a visit by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the ICC for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.

South Africa has since it's hosting of the African Union Summit previous year complained that the ICC is unfair in the way it treats African governments and is incompatible with Pretoria's peace initiatives on the continent.

A growing rebellion against the International Criminal Court has been hit with a major setback as a South African court ruled that the government's attempt to quit the war-crimes court was "unconstitutional and invalid".

On Wednesday, the court determined the decision taken by President Jacob Zuma and the minister of justice Michael Masutha to withdraw from The Hague-based court without parliamentary approval amounted to a breach of the separation of powers.

The ruling is being celebrated by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), one of the groups who brought the case before the court.

Mojapelo added that government decisions must be based on "the expressed authority of the constitution".

In its withdrawal notice, South Africa complained that its legal obligations to the worldwide court were sometimes "incompatible" with the "peaceful resolution of conflicts".

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A top court ordered government to revoke the notice of intention to withdraw from the ICC on the basis that it was unconstitutional & invalid.

Meanwhile, government said it will study the judgment and decide whether or not to appeal.

It said the country should not join "pariah states who have no respect for human rights".

But if the government is eventually forced to go to Parliament for approval, it can expect a bruising battle.

South Africa is not the only country that have announced to exit the ICC, Burundi and Gambia in the days of Yahaya Jameh has announced to leave.

But on February14, The Gambia told the United Nations that it would remain in the ICC, reversing the previous administration's plan to withdraw from the tribunal. South Africa said the treaty contradicts its diplomatic immunity law and prevents the country from acting as a regional peacemaker, a role that could require it to host adversaries on its own soil. But the ANC, which has ruled South Africa since 1994 after the end of the Apartheid era, has shown signs of cracking under Zuma's scandal-plagued leadership.


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