Special Reports

Uganda starts process to withdraw from ICC


Prime Minister Rugunda

Ugandan has started the process of officially withdrawing from the International Criminal Court [ICC].

In February 2016, President Yoweri Museveni promised to pull Uganda out of ICC saying the court is biased against Africans.

“ICC is not serious,” Museveni said adding Uganda and other African countries should leave the court and form an Africa criminal court instead.

Appearing before parliament plenary on Thursday, Uganda Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, said the country had kick-started the process of leaving the foreign court.

“Rt Hon Speaker, Uganda like many other African countries are reconsidering their relationship and position with the ICC because of its well-know position especially with regard to case from Africa,” Rugunda told parliament.

He added: “We think that we are not the only people involved in cases triable by the ICC.”

Listen to Rugunda’s audio here

In July 2016, African countries reported that a common position on the mass withdrawal from ICC was in its final stages, according to a committee tasked to engage the UN Security Council.

The Committee of Foreign Affairs Ministers, which was tasked during the 26th AU Summit held in January in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, told AU heads of states attending a summit in Kigali that Africans had rallied behind the idea of strengthening the Arusha-based African People‘s & Human Rights Court.

The committee members also state that it is agreeable to most African countries that they would rather strengthen institutions to deal with impunity on the continent and also include in its jurisdiction, international war crimes and crimes against humanity now handled by the ICC.

The African Court was established by Article 1 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which was adopted under then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in Burkina Faso in 1998.

The resolutions came against the backdrop of a decision by the Hague-based court’s Pre-Trial Chamber II referring both Uganda and Djibouti to the 15-member UN Security Council to take necessary action after the two countries failed to fulfill their obligation of arresting Sudan President Omar al-Bashir.

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