By Alhagie Jobe
The United Nations has confirmed it has received the official notification from The Gambia of its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
UN spokesman Farhan Haq said on Monday that the withdrawal will take effect on November 10th, 2017, making it the third to quit the Hague-based court.
In late October, Gambia’s Information Minister Sheriff Bojang announced the withdrawal on state TV, GRTS, and described the ICC as “an International Caucasian Court for the persecution and humiliation of people of color, especially Africans.”
This receipt of notification came a day after a nine-month old TV interview by court’s current chief prosecutor and Gambian-born Fatou Bensouda with the German international broadcaster DW TV Journalist Tim Sebastian went viral after she was sculled for giving a deaf ear to the crimes been committed by President Jammeh and his administration.
Bensouda who was onetime adviser to Mr Jammeh in the early years of his rule after he seized power in a coup in 1994 served as Solicitor General and later Justice Minister before obtaining international appointment.
The Gambia’s withdrawal from the ICC followed the same move by Burundi and South Africa who both notified the United Nations in October of their withdrawal from the court, which will take effect in one year as well.
UN Chief Ban Ki-moon has expressed regret that South Africa, Burundi and Gambia are leaving the ICC and said it could “send a wrong message on these countries’ commitment to justice.”
Several African countries have since threatened a withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the ICC, accusing the court of disproportionately targeting the continent.
The ICC which opened in July 2002 and has 124 member states is the first legal body with permanent international jurisdiction to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. It is been accused of biased towards Africans.