Gambia Rejoins ICC

Gambia’s announcement this week that it would rejoin the International Criminal Court sends a strong message of support for the court and victims of grave international crimes. Along with Burundi – and its soaring human rights violations in the past year – South Africa is now the outlier on ICC exit.

The Permanent Premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
EXPAND The Permanent Premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
© 2016 UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
Gambia’s decision to rejoin the ICC reflects shifting priorities under newly elected President Adama Barrow, who will be inaugurated tomorrow. The departure of his predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, who left for exile on January 21 after initially refusing to accept his December election defeat, ended two decades of repressive rule.

Gambia’s decision – along with numerous expressions of support from African ICC members since South Africa first announced its withdrawal in October – belie rhetoric that Africa is headed for a mass departure from the ICC.