South Africa’s government will review its membership of the International Criminal Court over a dispute about Pretoria’s failure to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, a cabinet minister said on Thursday.
The diplomatic row dates from June 15 when Bashir flew out of South Africa as world powers and activists urged the government to arrest him and has exposed a growing rift between Africa and developed nations over the role of the ICC.
The global court has issued a warrant for Bashir on charges of masterminding genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region. But South Africa cited legal complexities and the need to balance its obligations to the African Union, among others, and let him go.
Bashir has denied the genocide charges.
“Cabinet decided that it will review South Africa’s participation in the Rome Statutes of the International (Criminal) Court,” Jeff Radebe, minister in the presidency, told reporters during a post-cabinet meeting briefing.