As the Western donors digest the strong message Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni sent to them on his day of inauguration, many are now asking questions and wondering.
Human Rights watch says Sudan’s President al-Bashir should have been arrested in Uganda, not welcomed to an inauguration of Museveni.
It is true that Al Bashir was warmly welcomed to Uganda.
The Western governments who donate a lot of money to Uganda had representatives at the swearing in in Kampala.
Representatives from the European Union, United States and Canada, however, walked out mid session.
Human Rights Watch, Africa Division Senior Researcher, says Ugandans have been victims of serious crimes including wartime attacks on civilians.
Maria Burnett insists that Uganda must show solidarity with victims of war crimes and not seek to protect perpetrators of such crimes.
Speaking at Kololo, Museveni introduced Bashir as his neighbour saying they lost interest in the International Criminal Court because it is not serious.
He described the court as a bunch of useless people.
According to Mohammed Ndifuna, the Chief Executive Officer of Human Rights Network Uganda, as a signatory to the Rome Statute of 2002 that set up the ICC, Uganda is duty-bound to arrest Gen Bashir and hand him over to the ICC the moment he steps on Ugandan soil.
“However, it was a sign of betrayal to Ugandans when Museveni chose to host a leader who is on a wanted list by the ICC,” said Ndifuna.
Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa also said failure to arrest Bashir would be a breach of its duty and would be a cruel betrayal of the hundreds of thousands of people killed and displaced during the Darfur conflict in Sudan.