The Gambia expresses dismay over U.S. sanctions on ICC officials

The Gambian government expressed its dismay on Saturday over the U.S. government’s decision to impose sanctions on two senior officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The sanctions were imposed by the U.S. government against the ICC’s Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, a Gambian national, and Phakiso Mochochoko, one of her top aides, in retaliation for a probe into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the “the ICC continues to target Americans”.

“The government of The Gambia expresses its dismay over the announcement made by the U.S. government imposing sanctions against Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor and other staff of the International Criminal Court,” the Gambia government said in a statement.

The sanctions include a freeze on assets held in the United States or subject to U.S. law, and target Bensouda and head of the Jurisdiction Complementarity and Cooperation Division, Phakiso Mochochoko. The individuals and entities that continue to materially support Bensouda and Mochochoko would also risk exposure to sanctions as well, according to the U.S. government.

“These acts constitute gross interference in the mandate, independence and impartiality of the Court in the fight against impunity for perpetrators of the most serious crimes of international concern,” The Gambian government said.

The Gambia also urged the U.S. government to reverse the sanctions imposed on the officials of the Court.