AGJA notes concern and urges engagement on South Africa’s withdrawal from the ICC

The Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA) notes with deep concern the South  African government’s declaration that it has given notice to the United Nations of its withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The AGJA adds its serious concern at the government’s announcement that it will seek the repeal of the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act. 

South Africa is an indispensable ally of international justice and the ICC. It played a leading  role in the creation of the Court and has been a key supporter of the institution since the ICC  became a functioning reality in 2002. The South African government’s tradition of supporting  human rights and as a leading voice on accountability would be undermined by a withdrawal  from the ICC. 

The Africa Group also urges that any space for reconsideration of withdrawal can and should  be explored. It further calls on the Parliament to reject any repeal of the Implementation of  the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act. The Africa Group supports the work  of all domestic legal groups in guaranteeing that any process of withdrawal is democratic,  legitimate, and reflects the will and interest of the South African people. 

The AGJA further implores African states, and civil society groups in the country to engage  and work with South Africa, encouraging the government to retain its membership in the ICC  and maintain its position as a leader in the global fight for justice and accountability. 

The AGJA stresses that the concerns of all ICC member-states can be heard and considered  at the Assembly of States Parties as well as other appropriate legal and diplomatic channels.  In line with its mandate and its Kilimanjaro Principles, the Africa Group offers its expertise as  well as its mediation and facilitation capacities to South Africa, the ICC, and all other relevant  actors.

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