Short Cuts

Stephen W. Smith

The South African president, Jacob Zuma, has notified the United Nations of his country’s decision to leave the International Criminal Court in The Hague and is encouraging other African countries to follow suit. No one should be surprised. African doubts about the ICC have been growing ever since a sitting president, Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, was indicted by the court for war crimes and crimes against humanity. That was in 2009: a year later, the charge of genocide was added. Burundi, the Gambia and now South Africa have decided to withdraw from an institution which African support and the prevalence of international crimes in Africa – war crimes, crimes against humanity, even genocide – helped bring into existence.

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