Displayed with permission from dpa German Press Agency

New York (dpa) – The United Nations has received an official letter from Burundi indicating the country’s intention to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, on Thursday.

Burundi’s withdrawal from the international court will come into effect one year from Thursday if the UN’s legal department, which is currently studying the letter, verifies the document.

Burundi was the first of three African countries to announce its intention to leave the court.

Last week, South Africa notified the UN of its decision to quit the court, while Gambia announced its intention to withdraw on Tuesday.

Dujarric said that the UN had not received any official communication from Gambia yet.

“Obviously, we regret the decision,” he said. “The ICC is a key pillar in international justice.”

There is a widespread feeling in Africa that the tribunal unfairly targets African leaders more than those of other continents.

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