25 October 2016 Last updated at: 11:12 AM
Malawi monitoring ICC withdrawals
The Malawi Government says it is monitoring reports of other countries’ intentions to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) before it makes its decision.
Government spokesperson Malison Ndau told Malawi24 that Malawi – which is a signatory to the treaty that established the ICC – will make its own decision on the issue and will not be pressured by anyone into pulling out of the ICC.
This comes after South Africa formally declared its withdrawal from the ICC saying its membership to the international court was in conflict with the country’s laws on diplomatic immunity. Burundi’s president has also signed a bill allowing the country to pull out of the ICC while Kenya is said to be considering quitting the international court.
But asked if Malawi will follow suit, Ndau said the Southern African nation is currently monitoring the situation and will decide in future whether to quit the ICC.
“As Malawi we haven’t reached that extent because we are a sovereign country and we have to do what is best for us,” he said “So as of now we are watching what is happening then at a proper time we will sit down and make an informed decision but as of now we haven’t quit the ICC.”
In 2011 Malawi fell out favour with the ICC for refusing to arrest Sudan President Omar al-Bashir when he attended a summit in the country. Malawi defended its decision saying international laws make exception for presidents’ immunity when criminal courts seek their arrests.
The ICC was created to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes all over the world but some members accuse it of only targeting Africa.