Senegal: Botswana regrets South Africa's withdrawal from ICC

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) – Botswana's government has expressed regret over South Africa's withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

''While Botswana fully respects the sovereign right of any country to become a party to, or to withdraw from any international instrument, the Government of Botswana nonetheless regrets that the Government of South Africa reached this decision,'' Botswana said in a statement obtained by PANA in Dakar, Senegal, on Thursday.

''Botswana remains convinced that the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute is the most appropriate platform for States Parties to address any concerns they may have regarding the implementation of the Statute.

''It had been our sincere hope and expectation that the Government of South Africa would use the opportunity presented by the upcoming meeting of the ASP on 16-24 November 2016 at The Hague to ventilate its concerns in this regard,'' the statement added.

''Botswana is convinced that as the only permanent international criminal tribunal, the ICC is an important and unique institution in the international criminal justice system.''

Therefore, Botswana went on to reaffirm its membership of the Rome Statute and reiterated its support for a strong international criminal justice system through the ICC.

''The Government of Botswana does not, therefore, associate itself with calls for States Parties to withdraw from the Rome Statute. Botswana believes that such a move betrays the rights of the victims of atrocious crimes to justice and also undermines the progress made to date in the global efforts to fight impunity.''

''We therefore urge all States Parties to remain committed to and also respect their obligations under the Rome Statute by cooperating with, and providing political support to the ICC in order to ensure that the maintenance of minimum international standards of justice are observed,'' the statement concluded.
-0- PANA MLJ/VAO 27Oct2016

27 october 2016 15:56:48

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