Victims to lose out as Burundi set to leave ICC
On 27 October 2017, Burundi will become the first country to withdraw from the Rome Statute (RS) of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The state’s imminent withdrawal from the ICC raises questions for the ICC’s existing preliminary examination (PE) of the situation in the country since April 2016.
The ICC Office of the Prosecutor’s (OTP) PE in Burundi—considered to be at the subject-matter determination phase (Phase 2) at the time of the OTP’s last PE report (14 November 2016)—has been looking into alleged RS crimes including killings, arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture, and sexual violence committed in the country since April 2015.
“In one week, the decision to withdraw Burundi from the Rome Statute will come into effect. This comes at a time when the machine continues to kill with impunity in Burundi. Today, Burundian justice, as it is so-called, has lost contact with life. It has become a mere tool of repression of any dissenting voice the powerful and the party in power CNDD FDD,” said the Burundi Coalition for the ICC.