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Assan Jallow of the The African Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA) called on Jammeh, Zuma and Nkurunsiza to respect victims rIghts

HASSAN JALLOW

AGJA, a group of African legal and human rights luminaries on yesterday called on the leaders of these rogue nations to reconsider their threats to withdraw their countries from the ICC and to reconsider their commitments to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC. The group was set up about a year ago to improve the relationship between the African leaders and the ICC which had come under strain, even though the most powerful person responsible for initiating investigations is an African and a Gambian, with some of the unscrupulous leaders accusing the ICC of unfairly targeting African despots and war lords. 

Despite the threats, it was only last week when Burundi's embattled president threatened to pull the ICC out when ICC's chief prosecutor promised victims that she is considering starting investigations against the despot. 

South Africa also followed suit, following the countries refusal to arrest Bashir for alleged heinous crimes of genocide and ethnic cleansing of black people in Southern Sudan.  

Hassan Jallow, a founding member of the group, another legal luminary from the Gambia, a former PPP attorney general and former prosecutor for the ad hoc war crimes tribunal for Rwanda, remarked that: "Withdrawals from the ICC constitute a serious obstacle to the rights of victims to justice and the duty of states to ensure accountability for mass atrocities. They close an important recourse to justice and undermine the global fight against impunity," 

AGJA noted that African countries including Botswana and Senegal had voiced their concern at the announced withdrawals and encouraged others to remain committed to the court.

AGJA, commended other countries in Africa, like the exemplary Senegal and Botswana for voicing their concerns about the threats to the withdrawal from the ICC. 

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