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News > South Africa

South Africa Seeks to Withdraw From ICC

  • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Apr. 25, 2023.

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Apr. 25, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@UNstrategist

Published 25 April 2023

Withdrawal from the ICC requires a lengthy parliamentary process with a simple majority to endorse it.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Tuesday that the government has decided to once again attempt to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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"The ruling African National Congress party has taken that decision that it is prudent for South Africa to withdraw from the ICC," Ramaphosa said in the framework of Finnish President Sauli Niinist's state visit to the country.

The African National Congress (ANC) party made the decision following a weekend meeting in the wake of the arrest warrant issued in March by the ICC against Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Ramaphosa denounced the "unfair treatment" of some countries by the court, which accuses the Russian President of illegally deporting children from Ukraine.

Prior to the ICC international arrest warrant, the Russian President had already been invited by South Africa to the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit to be held in August in Durban.

This is the second time that the country is trying to withdraw from the ICC. The first time was in 2016 in connection with the failure to arrest former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (accused of genocide before the court) during his visit to the country the previous year. 

At the BRICS summit in August, South Africa would be forced to execute the ICC arrest warrant against Putin if he sets foot in the Rome Statute signatory country.

According to the Kremlin, the Russian President will decide near the time of the event whether to attend the summit in person. The BRICS summit will bring together the leaders of the world's largest emerging economies.

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