Mbabazi, Museveni Offer Contrasting Views On ICC


price geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>He said the system was meant to stop abuse of power in failed states.

health geneva;”>Mbabazi was meeting the new French Ambassador-Designate to Uganda, Mrs Sophie Makame who paid him a courtesy call at his office on Thursday.

She replaced Aline Kuster-Menager.

“If those who are entrusted with power have abused it or failed to utilize it for the benefit of their people, that is still our line,” Mbabazi observed.

He said Uganda was at the forefront of championing the creation of an international criminal justice system, hence the Rome Statute.

The Statute established the ICC after being adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome in 1998 and entered into force in 2002.

Mbabazi’s speech was a huge departure from President Museveni’s stance that the international justice is being politicised.

It remains unclear if the Premier’s remarks reflecting a change in government’s attitude towards the ICC.

For the better part of this year, President Museveni has used international platforms including the recent United Nations Assembly in New York to slam the International Criminal Court (ICC) for practicing selective prosecution that targets only African leaders.

Addressing a large gathering at Kenya President, Uhuru Kenyatta’s inauguration in April, the Ugandan leader saluted Kenya for the “rejection of the blackmail by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and those who seek to abuse this institution for their own agenda.”

“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,” said Museveni.

“They are now using it to install leaders of their choice in Africa and eliminate the ones they do not like. What happened here in 2007 was regrettable and must be condemned,” he emphasized.

The President said 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?” he challenged the audience.

Meanwhile, Mbabazi defended the involvement of the UPDF in Somalia, Liberia, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

“We are not there for territorial ambitions but for stability of the region so that people can have peace,” Mbabazi said.

“Many people thought Uganda was a failed state but anyone who has doubts on our ability to maintain stability does not know enough.”

Mbabazi assured the ambassador-designate that Uganda was not an Anglophone agent but a Pan-Africanist willing to support other sister countries where possible. He hailed France for the excellent relations that the two countries have maintained since 1986.

Makame, who was yet to present her credentials to President Yoweri Museveni, said her government would mobilise up to 80 million euros (about Shs 278bn) to support Uganda’s vocationalisation of education programmes.

She received her first ambassadorial appointment in August and her first posting was Uganda. Prior to her appointment she was the advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Makame said France was also willing to contribute to peace in the Great Lakes region, adding that she had a presence in other countries including Cameroun to maintain peace.

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