The Rome Statute which governs the ICC will enter into force on September 1, 2011, allowing the court to judge genocide, crimes against humanity and crimes of war committed after this date.
Tunisia could have requested that the Statute be effective retroactively starting July 2002 but didn't ask for it.
Tunisia is the 32nd African State to join the ICC system, and the fourth member of the Arab League.
The President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, declared in a statement that "Tunisia's accession to the Rome Statute is also a testament of the profound changes brought about by the ‘Arab Spring' which started in Tunisia. It fulfills a central demand of peoples everywhere for societies guided by clear rules and the principle of equality before the law".
Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty declared on his side that "all countries in the region should follow Tunisia's example by embracing the international legal framework to protect human rights and prevent injustice".
© Agence Hirondelle