Following the ICC’s annual report which slams Russia’s annexation of Crimean and called it an occupation, the government of the Russian federation has decided to pull out of the organization.
“This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government”, the report read, The decision which has angered Russia and force the nation to pull out of the court raises more questions about the future of the Hague based court.
The report further added, “That would suggest the existence of an international armed conflict in the context of armed hostilities in eastern Ukraine from 14 July 2014 at the latest, in parallel to the non-international armed conflict”.
But as Russia joins some African states to abandon the courts for what they term lack of independence and bias against some nations, many are wondering what the future holds for the court. On Wednesday, The International Criminal Court made an impassioned plea to the three African countries that have recently withdrawn from the court not to go amidst reports of more countries from Africa about leaving the court as they cry over the court decisions to target only Africans and Africa leaders. There have been widespread calls from some African countries calling on all its members to pull out of the court and create an African court for Africans as Sudanese president Bashir has been indicted by the court for war crimes.
Talking at the 15th session of the assembly on Wednesday 16 November 2016, the president of the court Sidiki Kaba said the “powerful feeling of injustice” of the African states is somewhat unguided.
On its official twitter page the courts chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda saying “withdrawals are a setback in joint efforts to achieve a more peaceful and just world.
— Int'l Criminal Court (@IntlCrimCourt) November 16, 2016
But as the courts embark on soul-searching to save its crumbling reputation, the authorities have to come to terms with the fact that the ICC is in serious crisis. South Africa, Burundi and Gambia have all announced they are pulling out of the court and the list is expected to only grow.