Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, has made a scathing attack on the International Criminal Court (ICC) during the inauguration ceremony of Kenya’s new President, Uhuru Kenyatta. In a blistering tone Museveni said “I want to salute the Kenyan voters on one issue – the rejection of the blackmail by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and those who seek to abuse this institution for their own agenda.”
He went on to say ” I was one of those that supported the ICC because I abhor impunity. However, the usual opinionated and arrogant actors using their careless analysis have distorted the purpose of that institution. They are now using it to install leaders of their choice in Africa and eliminate the ones they do not like.”
The Ugandan strongman was unrelenting and when he added “What happened here in 2007 was regrettable and must be condemned. A legalistic process, especially an external one, however, cannot address those events. Events of this nature first and most importantly, need an ideological solution by discerning why they happened. Why did inter community violence occur, was it for genuine or false reasons? Even if you assume they were genuine reasons as a hypothetical argument, why should villagers attack one another? Would the villagers have been responsible for whatever mistakes that would have occurred?”
President Yoweri Museveni went on to lament on his country’s own brutal past saying “Instead of a thorough and thoughtful process, we have individuals engaged in legal gymnastics! In Uganda’s case, between 1966 and 1986, we lost about 800,000 persons killed by the leaders who were in charge of the country. How did we handle that sad history? Have you ever heard us asking ICC or the UN to come and help us deal with that sad chapter of our history?” We only referred Joseph Kony of LRA to ICC because he was operating outside Uganda. Otherwise, we would have handled him ourselves. Equally, Kenyan actors are the ones best qualified to sit and delve into their history in order to discover the ideological stimuli the Kenyan society needs. I, therefore, use this opportunity to salute the Kenyan voters again, rejecting that blackmail and upholding the sovereignty of the Kenyan people. The people of Kenya extended hospitality to Ugandans when they had to run out of their country because of criminal rule in Uganda.”
These remarks coming from one of Africa’s most recognized leaders does offer something to chew about as reports coming out of Kenya states that three additional vital witnesses in the Kenyatta case have withdrawn themselves from the prosecution’s witness list. It seems the ICC now have an uphill task to put together a formidable case that will have any merit for a successful prosecution. Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, now has a dilemma and may be left with only one option: to throw the case out of the court because of unavailability of credible witnesses.
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