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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir returned to Khartoum, after evading possible arrest in South Africa in 2015. EPA/Marwan Ali

ICC ruling on South Africa and al-Bashir: pragmatism wins the day

The ICC has been criticised for not acting against South Africa after it failed to arrest Sudan's president in 2015. But, the court actually acted sensibly given the challenges it faces.
South Africa’s planned withdrawal from the ICC is considered a detraction from Nelson Mandela’s “inspiring legacy”. Jim Bourg/Reuters

Why South Africa’s withdrawal is not a death-knell for the ICC

The ICC has made important advances by investigating cases outside Africa and completing ones that further define what is not allowed in war. South Africa’s withdrawal is concerning, but not fatal.
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir during a rally against the ICC. Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters

Withdrawal from the ICC: A sad day for South Africa and Africa

The South African government's decision to withdraw from the ICC should not be seen in isolation. The African Union has called on its member states to withdraw from the court.
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma being welcomed on his arrival in Khartoum by Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir earlier this year. Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

Leaving the ICC won’t absolve South Africa of its legal obligations

South Africa's withdrawal from the ICC could have mere symbolic value. The country will continue to have obligations to binding decisions taken by the UN Security Council – including those pertaining to the court.