Special Reports

Uganda fires back at US: We’ve right to quit ICC


Uganda Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, James Mugume

The Uganda Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, James Mugume, says Uganda has a right to walk out of the International Criminal Court just like America did.

Mugume was responding the walk out of foreign envoys during President Yoweri Museveni.

“You are focusing on the few people who walked out. Many guests stayed,” Mugume told NBS television on Monday.

Mugume said the president was only re-echoing the stand of the African Union (AU) on the ICC when he called the court a bunch of useless people.

“African countries are increasingly exploring the idea of an African criminal court. The West seems to disagree.”

He said western envoys were told prior that Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir was attending Museveni’s swearing in and they agreed to sit in the back.

“President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is helping us stabilise the region. He was our guest.”

He said the African continent is maturing hence the vocal divergent views on issues such as the ICC.

“We are members of the African Union. The matter is coming up for discussion in Kigali, Rwanda. Africa will make its decision on ICC.”

Mugume maintained that Uganda is still an ICC member because it helped start the court.

He noted that what African Union is objecting to is the tendency that only African leaders are being tried.

“The US signed and later walked out of the ICC. African countries also have a right to ‘unsign’ if they deem fit.”

“The ICC was initially well-intentioned but this selective prosecution gives African countries reason to rethink their stay.”

According to Mugume, those envoys who walked out did so because they were protecting their own interests.

“We are also protecting ours. When Museveni said ICC is a bunch of useless people, that didn’t mean he was referring to the US. They are not even ICC members.”

Mugume said Uganda is going to China to fund her infrastructure because they have the money.

“Their [Chinese] economy has been doing well. People think the Chinese will give you money without asking questions. That’s not the case.”

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