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Burundi has today become the only ever State to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
This marks a serious step backwards which risks further isolating the country within the International Community. This decision deprives the victims of crimes and human rights abuses of the possibility of obtaining redress and weakens civil society.
The recent report of the independent UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi is clear about the scale and the seriousness of the alleged human rights violations being committed in the context of the ongoing crisis. Withdrawing from the Rome Statute is not conducive to the peaceful resolution of the crisis and is detrimental to fighting impunity.
Any solution to the current crisis will have to build on re-establishing the rule of law, including by effectively addressing and prosecuting all human rights violations, ensuring accountability for those responsible.
The European Union expects Burundi, as a former Party to the Rome Statute, to continue to cooperate with the Court.
The European Union remains staunch supporters of the ICC. Where concerns are raised within the framework of the Rome Statute, we remain open for constructive discussion.