The International Criminal Court’s recent catch 22 situation with Uganda should be enough to call for change of its approach in Africa or face losing some of its largest members says Sudan’s Ambassador to Uganda Abdelbaghi Kabeir.
Recently, the US lashed out at Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni for hosting the Sudanese leader President Omar al-Bashir at his swearing in ceremony in Kampala. It should however be noted that Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes against humanity.
“President Museveni should be lauded for the solidarity shown when he hosted President Bashir. Uganda should walkout of the ICC not for Sudan, but for Africa,” Amb. Abdelbaghi Kabeir told NBS TV on Tuesday.
Diplomats from the United States, the European Union and Canada walked out of President Museveni’s inauguration in protest at Bashir’s presence.
“Foreign envoys walking out during President Museveni’s inauguration was disrespectful to the sovereignty of Uganda and Africa. US envoy walked out but the US lost its moral authority in regards to ICC when it walked out of the ICC. It was simply undiplomatic to do such,” Amb. Kabeir implored.
In theory, states like Uganda who are signatories to the ICC have an obligation to arrest ICC suspects on their territories.
“President Bashir is not a wanted man. That term is derogatory and offensive. We need to de-colonize our minds because the West is after President Bashir because we don’t follow what they want us to do. There are other worse crimes they can go after.” he added.
The envoy also proposed that different African countries like Kenya, South Africa and Uganda should join forces to lobby for more freedom to interpret the court’s rules.
“The ICC is only trying Africans. From the very start, it wasn’t intended to serve justice. Why are the big countries not parties?” Amb. Kabeir queried.
“The ICC is a hypocritical institution. That’s why African leaders are now second guessing their allegiance to it.