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Gambia Asks U.S to Lift Sanction on ICC Officials

The Gambia government has released a statement asking the United States government to reverse its sanction imposed on the officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC) including the Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bom Bensouda.

In a statement dated September 4th, The Gambia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad states that “The Government of The Gambia expresses its dismay over the announcement made by the U.S Government imposing sanctions against Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor and other staff of the International Criminal Court.

The Gambia believes that the U.S sanctions “Constitute gross interference on the mandate, independence and impartiality of the Court in the fight against impunity for perpetrators of the most serious crimes of international concern,” statement issue by The Gambia Government said.

The US sanctions include Bensouda and one of her top aides in retaliation for a probe into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Haque based court has targed the US. The sanctions include a freeze on assets held in the US or subject to US law and target Bensouda and the court’s head of jurisdiction, Mochochoko. Pompeo also said individuals and entities that continue to materially support Bensouda and Mochochoko would risk exposure to sanctions as well. “We will not tolerate its illegitimate attempts to subject Americans to its jurisdiction,” Pompeo said.

The Government of The Gambia on Saturday says it stands in solidarity with the International Criminal Court, its Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, an upstanding citizen of The Gambia, and all other officials of the Court targeted by these sanctions.

“The Gambia continues to value and support the important work of the Court in upholding world peace and security. It therefore urges the US Government to reverse the sanctions imposed on the Officials of the Court.”

The Gambia’s reaction is added to the growing list condemnations from different entities including the United Nations and ICC itself.

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