On the 6th of July, the International Criminal Court ruled that South Africa flouted its duty to International Law when it failed to arrest the President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir in 2015 when he visited the country. He had been accused of committing genocide and war crimes in Darfur. However, the South African Government stated that they could not arrest him as he had Immunity, being a head of state who is attending an AU summit.
The South African Government has also cited that the ICC had been unfair in the way it treats African States. This led South Africa to pull out of the ICC, a move which a court in South Africa has ruled against, citing that the Government failed to allow parliament debate and rule on it.
The ICC in the exercise of its duties, has truly shown some level of bias in the way it treats African Nations compared to the way it Treats Europe and America. While it may not be the Intention of the ICC to display any form of bias in its actions, it hasn’t failed to avoid making itself look like the Police of African states.
The ICC has spent most of its time ruling against African Leaders, but failed to respond to calls for George Bush and Tony Blair to be investigated. They have also failed to properly indict and rule against soldiers in the American Army who were guilty of war crimes in the Middle East.
While South Africa’s decision to pull out of the ICC maybe too rash, it is one way of saying to the ICC that it needs to desist from thinking that only African leaders can and should be tried for human rights abuse, or war crimes of any sort. Also, it showed that South Africa would not be lumped with the rest of African Nations to be ‘bullied’ by the ICC while Europe and America get away with such war crimes.
In the end, the ICC has a lot more to do in order to redeem its image as a just and unbiased umpire, as opposed to the seemingly biased Umpire that it now seems to be.