A Makerere university professor believes President Yoweri Museveni’s bold remarks against the International Criminal Court [ICC] stem from the fact that Uganda is a regional power.
In security circles, Gen Museveni is famously known as the “Great Lakes Region Security Guru”.
His army, the UPDF, has been involved in peace missions as well as revolutions in countries like Liberia, Congo, Rwanda, Central African Republic, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia.
Dr Daniel Ruhweza, a law don, says this is where Museveni’s confidence comes from.
Appearing on NBS TV Tuesday, Ruhweza said despite the ICC warrant, President Museveni made a deliberate choice to follow the Africa Union stand on ICC by hosting Sudan President Omar al-Bashir.
He said Uganda had international obligations to arrest Bashir.
“Whether Uganda was willing to act on those obligations is another discussion.”
According to the lecturer, President Museveni referred to ICC as a “bunch of useless people” but should have used more diplomatic language.
“For as long as Uganda is able to remain a regional power, we shall see a lot of confidence from Mr Museveni.”
Ruhweza, however, warned that “that [regional dominance] can change”.
President Bashir has already been indicted, the don says, adding, one option is to appear and go through the process like Kenyatta did.
Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kenyan president was tried over 2007 election crimes and his charges dropped by the court on account of lack of evidence.
African nations agreed to be part of the ICC, Ruhweza insists.
He noted that President Bashir wasn’t singled out because he is an African; he was singled out given the crimes at hand.
After Bashir’s departure, ICC issued a communiqué tasking Uganda to explain why it didn’t arrest him.
The country was given up to June to write a formal explanation to the ICC.
“We have an obligation. Old wounds are not closed. As long as President Bashir is alive, the indictments will remain. Best thing is for him to appear.”