The Catholic bishops’ conference of South Africa is urging the country’s government to reconsider a decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
South Africa announced last week that it would leave the ICC,
following a similar announcement by Burundi.
Some African leaders have
criticized the international body for interfering with their internal
In the case of South Africa, the government had rejected
protests from the ICC after ignoring a court order for the arrest of
Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is accused of crimes
“We have noted with sadness the decision by the South African
government to withdraw from the ICC,” the justice-and-peace commission
of the bishops’ conference said in a public statement.
The group said
that South Africa’s withdrawal might encourage other African nations to
follow suit, harming the effectiveness of the international body.
bishops’ conference suggested that South Africa should retain its
membership in the ICC at least “until such a time that Africa has
developed a credible and effective regional court.”