The decision follows widespread condemnation against the U.S. sanctions by Europe, which demands ''instant withdrawal of threats‘’ against the Court officials.
Fortified by the Rome Statute, the EU said it is ''standing by'' Fatou Bensouda and the ICC and once again requested for the ‘‘immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all sanctions.’’
Below is the full text of the press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad.
“The Government of The Gambia expresses its dismay over the announcement made by the US Government imposing sanctions against Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor and other staff of the International Criminal Court. These acts 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.
The Gambia stands in solidarity with the 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.”
Among Court Officials sanctioned by the U.S. include:
BENSOUDA, Fatou (a.k.a. BENSOUDA, Fatou Bom); DOB 31 Jan 1961; POB Banjul, The Gambia; nationality The Gambia; Gender Female; Passport D0015886 (individual) [ICCP-EO13928].
MOCHOCHOKO, Phakiso; DOB 04 Sep 1957; POB Sea Point, Maseru, Lesotho; nationality Lesotho; Gender Male; Passport DA001009 (individual) [ICCP-EO13928].