Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf from Somalia has been appointed new President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Judge Yusuf was born in Eyl, a Northeastern town in Somalia. Yusuf was born in 1948 and graduated from the Somali National University in 1973 with a Dr. Juris in Law. He did his post-graduate studies at the University of Florence in 1977 in International Law and Relations.

Yusuf has been a member of the International Criminal Court since the 6th of February 2009. He was Vice-President of the Court from the 6th of February 2015 to the 6th of February 2018. He was elected President of the Court on the 6th of February 2018.

Yusuf will be the third African to be the President of the Court. He takes over from Ronny Abraham of France as the 25th President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Read: Africa Union leaders back mass withdrawal of member states from the International Criminal Court

International Criminal Court
The statement of the International Court of Justice announcing Judge Yusuf as President of the Court. Photo: Twitter

Yusuf has been the founding member of organisations such as the African Association of International Law, African Foundation for International Law and a member of the Institute of International Law, Geneva.

Read: Burundi withdraws from the International Criminal Court (ICC)

The International Court of Justice is made up of 15 members.  According to a statement by the ICJ, “the court is the principal organ of the United Nations and delivers judgements which are final and binding, on disputes between states, and gives advisory opinions to United Nations organs and agencies that are authorized to request them under the Charter of the United Nations.”

Congratulatory messages have been pouring in from Somalis and Africans all over the world.