Burundi withdraw itself from the International Criminal Court

Burundi withdraw itself from the International Criminal CourtBurundi president, Pierre Nkurunziza, has officially appended his signature to the decision of the country to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Burundi becomes the first State Party to pull out of the Rome Statute, the treaty that led to the establishment of the court 18 years ago.

The decree was published in the presidency's website and said the decision would "come into immediate effect". The document was co-signed by Aimee Laurentine Kanyana, the Minister of Justice and president Nkurunziza.

This is the latest in a series of events concerning the country’s decision to quit the international judicial organ. Earlier today, the ICC president said they were concerned over Burundi’s decision and called for dialogue on the way forward.

In the last week vote, on October 12, only two lawmakers voted in favour of staying under the jurisdiction of the Dutch-based ICC, while 94 voted against and 14 abstained.

The move came after in April, the ICC opened a preliminary investigation into Burundi, focusing on killings, imprisonment, torture, rape and other sexual violence, as well as enforced disappearances.

Burundi's government was infuriated last month by a U.N. report that named officials accused of orchestrating the torture and killing political opponents. Since then, Bujumbura has banned three U.N. investigators from its territory and condemned a U.N. decision to set up a commission of inquiry to probe the violence, which began last year after Nkurunziza decided to seek a third term in office.

Still it will however take up to a year before Burundi can successfully be out of the ICC.
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