South Africa to leave ICC for bias against African countries

South Africa announced plans Friday to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), the newspaper Daily Maverick and other media reported.

The country notified the United Nations of the move on Thursday, citing the court's perceived biases against African nations, the daily said.

The decision comes after another African nation, Burundi, this week signed legislation to become the first to withdraw from the ICC — raising concerns that states have begun to act on years of threats to leave over what they call the court's disproportionate targeting of the continent.

The notification marked the beginning of a year-long process of withdrawal, though it was not yet clear if the move would have to be approved by parliament.

Last year, South Africa refused to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide and war crimes. Al-Bashir was attending an African Union summit in Johannesburg.

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