The Burundian government has presented a draft law to its parliament to withdraw its membership at the International Criminal Court.
This action was confirmed by the country’s vice president on state-radio after minutes from a government meeting leaked to the media.
Just been sent this- agenda for ministers meeting in Burundi.— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) October 6, 2016
Item 2 suggests discussion re: withdrawal from the intl criminal court? pic.twitter.com/cgXRSd4dOd
“We found that it was necessary to withdraw from that organization so we can really be free,” First Vice President Gaston Sindimwo said.
The Court had announced that it will investigate the April 2015 violence that resulted in the death of at least 450 people with thousands fleeing the country.
The United Nations also released a report in September accusing the Burundian government of carrying out human rights abuses.
The government also accused the UN of bias and called the investigators politically motivated. Hundreds of protesters later marched along the streets of Burundi’s capital Bujumbura denouncing the UN report.
European nations and the United States have led efforts to put pressure on the country with aid cuts. The EU advised that it will resume funding if the government frees up the media, deals with rights abuses and launches genuine peace talks.
Violence in the country erupted after President Pierre Nkurunziza announced to seek a third term in office and eventually winning the election criticised by the opposition describing it as unconstitutional.