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Burundi parliament overwhelmingly votes to leave International Criminal Court

Burundi’s parliament Wednesday voted to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), deepening a months-long row between the global tribunal and the volatile nation.

Out of the country’s 110 parliamentarians, 94 elected to leave the ICC, while 14 abstained and two legislators voted against the motion.

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

On Tuesday, Burundi already cut ties with another international body, the United Nations Human Rights Council, while barring entry to three UN investigators.

The bill to remove Burundi from the court’s jurisdiction will proceed to the upper house of the legislature and then be signed by the president, triggering a withdrawal process that will last a year.

Opposition lawmaker Fabien Baciryanino, who favoured staying under ICC jurisdiction, saying withdrawing was "no more, no less, than inciting the Burundian people to commit more crimes".

Since it was set up under the 1998 Rome Statute, the court based in The Hague has focused on prosecuting four main crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. Its heavy focus on Africa has stirred a backlash against the court from countries such as Kenya and South Africa.


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Natumanya celeb - 2/11/2016 saa 22:32

ICC is not an independent court, there four it was a very good decision. Look at Libya, the son of the late president saif al Islam is no were both in Hague and in Libya.

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