UGANDA STILL COMMITTED TO ICC - KADAGA
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has reaffirmed government’s commitment to the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court.
“I want to begin by reassuring the President [of the ICC] that Uganda will not withdraw from the Rome Statute but we will continue working together,” said Kadaga.
“I also want to reassure you that because of that collaboration, we are the first country to issue a reference for arbitration to the ICC and we have continued to cooperate to date,” she added.
Kadaga made the remarks in the Netherlands, at the commemoration of the 20 years of the Rome Statute.
Kadaga however voiced government's discomfort with the court in some areas.
“Of course, we are part of the African Union and there have sometimes been difficult situations between the ICC and the African Union. There are areas of reservation,” said Kadaga, in relation to a February 2017 African Union decision to withdraw from the ICC.
Uganda voted in favour of the withdrawal after a divisive motion sponsored by Kenya was debated by the Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa.
The ICC has always criticised Uganda for warming up to Sudanese President Omar Bashir, who is wanted by the court for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.
Kadaga described Bashir as “an important actor” in the region, stressing his centrality in prospects for peace in the war torn and volatile South Sudan.
Khartoum and Kampala, previously at diplomatic crossroads, are now working to facilitate the recent shaky peace deal between former Vice President Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir led forces.
Kadaga said Uganda stands for a position where “justice is not sacrificed at the altar of peace, and peace is not sacrificed at the altar of justice”.