CONVENED CEC MEETING: NRM Chairman Yoweri Museveni

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has reportedly described the International Criminal Court (ICC) as ‘useless’, as he praised South Africa and Burundi’s move to leave the tribunal.

Zambian media reports indicate that Museveni made the anti-ICC comments when he was in the southern African country to grace the country’s 52nd Independence celebrations.

“It is a very good decision that South Africa has done that. In fact it is [the ICC] that is very useless,” Museveni, who early this year, during his swearing in as president of Uganda for a fifth term in May, was quoted as saying. Senior Presidential Press Secretary (SPPS) Innocent Don Wanyama confirmed the President made the remarks after a foreign journalist asked him about his position on the withdrawal of South Africa.

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It is not clear if Uganda also wants to leave the ICC but last Friday South Africa joined Burundi in withdrawing from the institution that was set up in 2002 to prosecute the world’s worst crimes.

The South African decision followed a dispute with the court last year over Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir visit to the country for an African Union summit despite facing an ICC warrant over alleged war crimes.

Currently, three countries: Burundi, South Africa and The Gambia have left the Hague-based court, while Kenya, whose President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto were indicted by the ICC in 2011, is also set to quit.

Countries that leave the ICC have at least a year before their request can be validated.