South Africa to withdraw from International Criminal Court

FILE - In this June 14, 2015, file photo, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attends a photo session at the African Union summit in Johannesburg. South Africa has decided to withdraw from the International Criminal Court following a dispute over the visit by al-Bashir, who is wanted by the tribunal for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. (AP Photo/Shiraaz Mohamed, File)
FILE - In this June 14, 2015, file photo, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attends a photo session at the African Union summit in Johannesburg. South Africa has decided to withdraw from the International Criminal Court following a dispute over the visit by al-Bashir, who is wanted by the tribunal for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. (AP Photo/Shiraaz Mohamed, File)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa says a bill to withdraw from the International Criminal Court will soon be submitted in parliament, making it the second country after Burundi to move this week to pull out.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha said Friday that the bill will propose that South Africa repeal the Rome Statute that created the court. Under it, countries have a legal obligation to arrest anyone sought by the tribunal.

The announcement follows a dispute last year over a visit to South Africa by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the ICC for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Al-Bashir was allowed to leave South Africa even though a local court had ordered authorities to prevent him from departing because of the international order for his arrest.

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