Tunisia on Friday became the first North African state to join the International Criminal Court, Reuters reported.
Tunisia, the country from whence the Arab Spring uprisings sprang, is the 116th country to sign the Rome Statute, the governing treat of the court, which investigates and prosecutes cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The statute will enter into force for Tunisia on September 1.
The ICC welcomes Tunisia's accession as a decision to join the international community's efforts to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of international concern - genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and aggression, the ICC said on its website.
Tunisia is the 32nd African state, and the fourth member of the League of Arab States, to become party to the Rome Statute. The other Arab League signatories are Comoros, Jordan and Djibouti.
Christian Wenaweser, president of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, said he hopes other nations will follow Tunisia's example.
Ratifying this founding document of the International Criminal Court has become a symbol of a country's commitment to the rule of law and the fight against impunity. I am very pleased to see that Tunisia has decided to send this strong message as an expression of a future on the basis of the rule of law, Wenaweser said in a statement.
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, Wenaweser said.
Tunisia's 'Jasmine Revolution' earlier this year inspired pro-democracy demonstrations and uprisings across North Africa after the self-immolation in December of a fruit vendor, whose cart (and therefore livelihood) had been seized by police.
Other Arab and Muslim states have been skeptical of the court, perceiving it as a tool of the Western powers.