President Yahya Jammeh has been ruling Gambia since 1994
President Yahya Jammeh 

(JollofNews) – The Gambia has notified the United Nations that it is withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, the third African country to give formal notice of a pullout, a UN spokesman said Monday.

South Africa and Burundi also ignored appeals from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to reverse their decisions and have sent letters confirming that they are quitting the ICC.

“We have received the official, formal notification, which has now been processed,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.

Banjul’s decision to pull out of the court struck a personal blow against the tribunal’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, a Gambian lawyer and former justice minister.

Gambian Information Minister Sheriff Bojang charged that the ICC had been used “for the persecution of Africans and especially their leaders” while ignoring crimes committed by the West.

Gambia’s withdrawal will take effect one year after the letter was received on November 4.

Kenya, Namibia and Uganda are among other African countries that have indicated they, too, are considering pulling out of the Rome statute, the ICC’s founding treaty.