The entrance of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, March 3, 2011. REUTERS/Jerry Lampen
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South Africa and Burundi's decision to quit the International Criminal Court and an attack by Gambia against its supposed "Caucasian" justice are likely to embolden other African states to leave the world's only permanent war crimes tribunal.Supporting South Africa's subsequent stance, Kenyatta took aim in particular at Article 27 of the ICC's 1998 Rome Statute which affirms the "irrelevance of official capacity" – in other words, nobody, no matter how powerful, is above the law.Most worrying for the ICC, which has been fighting to counter the allegations of anti-African bias and "neocolonialism," is that local or regional politics stood behind the three recent decisions to pull out.Although Gambia, which derided the ICC as the "Infamous Caucasian Court," does not yet appear to have sent its formal divorce papers, President Yahya Jammeh, who has been accused of serial rights abuses since seizing power in a 1994 coup, is unlikely to back off ahead of an election in December.The ICC admits it is rattled but is determined to keep going, and in particular to counter the allegations of anti-African bias.
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