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South Africa walks back statement withdrawing from ICC, calls it ‘communication error’

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 26, 2023 6:09 AM 1 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

The office of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country is not planning to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) after the country's governing political party said earlier on April 25 that it was considering withdrawing from ICC due to its "unfair treatment" of other countries," Voice of America reported.

The office said the statement was a ‘communication error’ that the African National Congress (ANC) made during a media briefing.

“The presidency wishes to clarify that South Africa remains a signatory (of the ICC),” Ramaphosa’s office said in a statement later in the evening.

Just a few hours earlier the same day, Ramaphosa said that his country's governing political party decided that it would be "prudent" to withdraw from the ICC over its "unfair treatment" of other countries.

"We would like this matter of unfair treatment to be properly discussed, but in the meantime, the governing party has decided once again that there should be a pull-out," Ramaphosa said, Aljazeera reported.

The announcement followed an arrest warrant issued by the ICC on March 17 for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova. Under this warrant, any member country of the ICC would have to arrest Putin upon arrival.

South Africa is set to host the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa bloc summit later this year. Under the arrest warrant, they would be obligated to arrest Putin.

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