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AFRICA GROUP FOR JUSTICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY

ABUJA, NIGERIA
8 December 2016

The Africa Group for Justice and Accountability Welcomes President Elects Pledge for
The Gambia to Remain in the International Criminal Court
The Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA) welcomes the pledge of newly elected President of The
Gambia Adama Barrow to keep the country a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC). While the AGJA
reiterates its respect for the sovereign decision-making of states to join and withdraw from the ICC, it encourages
all states to join the ICC. It is hoped that The Gambias decision to remain in the ICC will dissuade other states from
withdrawing from the Court.
On 10 November 2016, The Gambia triggered the process of withdrawal from the ICC. It did so following an
executive order issued by President Yahya Jammeh which notied the United Nations Secretary General of the
countrys intentions to withdraw from the Court. At the time, AGJA member Hassan Bubacar Jallow expressed
his great dismay and dis-appointment at the decision. Jallow, the former Chief Prosecutor of the International
Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the Mechanism for Inter-national Criminal Tribunals, appealed to the government
of The Gambia and President Jammeh to reconsider its decision. During the presiden-tial election campaign in
The Gambia, Barrow pledged to keep The Gambia a member of the ICC. Following his victory, President Barrow
conrmed his intention to do so.
The AGJA expresses its support for President Barrows commitment to keep The Gambia within the ICC system
and reiterates its view that The Gambia has, and should, continue to play a leading role in the develop-ment of
international criminal justice. On behalf of the AGJA, Jallow de-clared that The Gambias reversal of course should
signal that African member-states, indeed all member-states, should remain within the ICC and work to make it
stronger from within. He added that The Gambias decision clearly demonstrates that the International Criminal
Court re-mains a relevant and impactful institution which enjoys widespread sup-port on the continent.
The Africa Group reiterates its view that concerns held by states re-garding the ICC should be addressed by the
Assembly of States Parties (ASP) and notes the important headway made in achieving respectful dialogue between
African states at the ICC at the recent ASP, held from 16-24 November 2016 in The Hague.
In line with its Kilimanjaro Principles for Justice and Accountability, the AGJA continues to offer its expertise,
mediation and facilitation to all Af-rican states, the African Union, the ICC and all other relevant actors.

The members of the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability:


Dapo Akande (Nigeria)
Professor of Public International Law, University of Oxford
Femi Falana (Nigeria)
Human rights activist and lawyer
Hassan Bubacar Jallow (Gambia)
Former Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and International
Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals
Richard Goldstone (South Africa)
Former Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for
Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia
Tiyanjana Maluwa (Malawi)
H. Laddie Montague Chair in Law, Pennsylvania State University School of Law
Athaliah Molokomme (Botswana)
Attorney General of Botswana
Betty Kaari Murungi (Kenya)
Independent Consultant on Human Rights and Transitional Justice
Mohamed Chande Othman (Tanzania)
Chief Justice of Tanzania
Navi Pillay (South Africa)
Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Catherine Samba-Panza (Central African Republic)
Former Transitional President of the Central African Republic
Fatiha Serour (Algeria)
Director of Serour Associates for Inclusion and Equity
Abdul Tejan-Cole (Sierra Leone)
Executive Director of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa

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