South Africa has formally begun the process of exiting from the International Criminal Court, telling member states that it does not want to be responsible for arrest warrants leading to “regime change.” The withdrawal stems from criticism the South African government has taken for refusing to arrest Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir during his visit to the African Union summit in Johannesburg last year. Bashir is wanted by the ICC for alleged war crimes against rebels and minority groups in Sudan’s tumultuous Darfur region. “The Republic of South Africa has found that its obligations with respect to the peaceful resolution of conflicts at times are incompatible with the interpretation given by the International Criminal Court,” a withdrawal document, signed by South Africa’s foreign minister, declared.
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