The European Union is praising the Gambia for upholding its commitment to international justice by returning to the International Criminal Court.
Gambia’s Adama Barrow met with EU Commission leaders and the ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in Brussels last week, during the new leaders first foreign visit to Europe.
The Gambia’s new government revoked former President Yahya Jammeh’s bid to withdraw the West African nation from the Rome Statute, which establishes the international tribunal.
Jammeh, a brutal autocratic ruler accused the ICC of bias and racism, calling it the “International Caucasian Court,” although the court’s top prosecutor is his former Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
Gambia’s new Attorney General Aboubcarr Baa Tambadou and Chief Justice Hassan Jallow were UN prosecutors who had pleaded with the Jammeh administration to withdraw the bid to leave the ICC.
Barrow had pledged during his campaign to reverse some of Jammeh’s critical unilateral decisions, especially to withdraw the small nation from the ICC and the Commonwealth.
African nations at the regional AU meeting last month moved to secure a total withdrawal from the ICC, giving Barrow his first challenge with the continent’s top guns.
The EU is the Gambia’s main development partner and has already pledge at least $250 million to rescue the country’s broken economy.