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Gambia has become the third African nation to say it will leave the International Criminal Court, deepening fears of a mass pullout from the body that pursues some of the world's worst atrocities.

In announcing the decision Tuesday night on national television, Gambia accused the court of unfairly targeting Africa and calling it the "International Caucasian Court for the persecution and humiliation of people of color, especially Africans."

The move comes after South Africa, once a strong ICC supporter under former President Nelson Mandela, notified the United Nations secretary-general last week that it would leave the court. Burundi's president last week signed legislation to leave the court as well.

Gambia's move drew swift condemnation from human rights groups. The statement about the court unfairly pursuing Africans "could not be further from the truth," said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International's research and advocacy director for Africa.

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