Burundi's lawmakers pass motion to quit International Criminal Court

Burundi's parliament Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), deepening a months-long row between the global tribunal and the East African nation.

Of the country's 110 lawmakers, 94 elected to leave the ICC, while 14 abstained and two voted against the motion.

The decision to withdraw comes after the ICC announced in April that it would investigate outbreaks of violence in Burundi that killed hundreds and forced hundreds of thousands to leave the country.

The violence was triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza in April 2015 when he announced his intention to seek a third term in office despite a constitutional two-term limit. He won an election boycotted by the opposition the following July.

The UN, which is the depositary of the treaty that established the international court, had not been notified of Burundi's decision to withdraw, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in New York.

"No letter has been received as of today indicating their decision," Dujarric said. "If a letter were received, it would be regrettable."

Withdrawal from the ICC becomes effective one year after the UN receives official notification, the spokesman said. Until the date that the withdrawal becomes effective, state parties are obligated to comply with any criminal investigation or proceeding by the court.

On Tuesday, Burundi cut ties with another international body, the United Nations Human Rights Council, while barring entry to three UN investigators.

The trio of independent experts had been issued a mandate by the UN rights body in December to investigate the situation in Burundi. They informed the UN of their findings in September, accusing the authorities of killing and torturing opponents.

Government spokesman Philippe Nzobonariba described the findings as "biased" and accused the investigators of trying to destabilize the country.

Last update: Wed, 12/10/2016 - 22:00

More from World

Reports: Dozens killed in church collapse in Nigeria

Dozens of people were killed in Uyo in southern Nigeria Saturday when a church collapsed/ according to reports.

Report: Trump to nominate Exxon chief for secretary of state

US president-elect Donald Trump will nominate Exxon Mobil chief executive Rex Tillerson to be his secretary of state...

15 killed, 69 injured in Istanbul: ministry

Attacks in Istanbul near a football stadium Saturday killed 15 people and injured 69, a Turkish government official...

Turkish government imposes broadcast ban after explosions in Istanbul

The Turkish government has imposed a broadcast ban in the country on Saturday night, state-run news agency Anadolu...

Iran summons British ambassador over prime minister's remarks

The Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador concerning remarks made earlier this week by Prime...