MPs Demand Government Position On ICC
A number of legislators have demanded that government takes a position on its stand at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In the wake of recent intentions by some African countries to withdraw their signatures from the Rome Statute, the MPs are piling pressure on government to clearly state where its loyalty lies. This follows a recent resolution by the African Union in January, voting in favour of a proposal for withdrawal from the ICC.
Recently, Gambia, Burundi and South Africa resolved to withdraw from the international crimes court, with others including Kenya hinting on a possible withdrawal from the ICC.
African leaders accuse the court of being selective and targeting African leaders only. The debate on the ICC was brought to Parliament on November 16, 2016 by Chua West MP, Okin Ojara during the weekly Prime Minister’s Question Time session.
Ojara said in the wake of threats of withdrawals, it is prudent for government to come clear on its position. He said given that the ICC is currently handling the trial of former Lord’s Resistance Army rebel, Dominic Ongwen who is facing charges of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, the country would want to know the fate of the case.
In response, the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda explained that currently, Uganda is still a party to the Rome Statute. Dr. Rugunda however said that Uganda will abide by a position by the African Union, which is urging its member states to withdraw from the ICC.
The permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) was established in 1998 by an international treaty now known as the Rome Statute. This statute entrusts the ICC with the mission to investigate, prosecute and try individuals accused of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.