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Thursday, 11 April 2013

ICC fires back at Museveni over Kenya remark




Kenya’s fourth president Uhuru Kenyatta is sworn into office by chief registrar Gladys Sholei (L) as his wife Margaret Kenyatta (R) looks on. The ceremony took place in Nairobi yesterday. PHOTO BY AFP  



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ICC fires back at Museveni over Kenya remark

http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/ICC-fires-back-at-Museveni-over-Kenya-remark/-/688334/1745156/-/sd9booz/-/index.html

By EMMANUEL GYEZAHO

Posted  Thursday, April 11  2013 at  01:00

KAMPALA
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has dismissed President Museveni’s Tuesday attack on its independence and influence, with an official at The Hague-based court expressing dismay at the Ugandan leader’s comments.
In a telephone interview with the Daily Monitor from Nairobi, Kenya yesterday, Ms Maria Mabinty Kamara leapt to the defence of the Court.

She said Mr Museveni’s criticism had only served to present an opportunity to the Court to “re-emphasise its position on its judicial mandate.” “The ICC takes into consideration the highest standards of proceedings,” said Ms Kamara. “The ICC remains completely apolitical. It is a judicial institution.” She is the outreach coordinator for Uganda and Kenya.

Speaking at the inauguration of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, who stands indicted by the ICC with crimes against humanity, Mr Museveni accused the court of blackmail, incompetence and self-interest in charging the new Kenyan leader.

In his eyebrow-raising speech, Mr Museveni said the ICC had been “grabbed by a bunch of self-seekers and shallow minded people whose interests is to mint revenge on those who hold opposing views.”
Although he offered no specifics, the NRM leader said the election of Mr Kenyatta and his deputy, Mr William Ruto, was a reminder to those using the ICC to blackmail others (African leaders) for selfish reasons that Africa is not a haven for them.

However, Ms Kamara disagreed with the President’s assertion and said she found his comments surprising given that Uganda remains a state party to the ICC and is a signatory to the Rome Statute creating the court.

Ms Kamara said Uganda’s January 2004 referral of Joseph Kony and his Lord Resistance Army rebels to the ICC for action, “one of the court’s earliest referrals”, was evidence of the country’s faith in an institution for which Mr Museveni now castigates.

In his Tuesday speech, Mr Museveni said Uganda referred the LRA to the ICC because Joseph Kony “was operating outside Uganda. Otherwise, we would have handled him ourselves.” Mr Museveni said although he was “one of those” who supported the ICC at its inception, the Court has since morphed into a tool “to install leaders of their choice in Africa and eliminate the ones they do not like.”

Ms Kamara said, however, that the Court remains “purely a judicial institution.” “There are no political considerations when the judges take into account decisions of issuing arrest warrants,” she said. “The ICC judges are coming from different regions of the world including Africa. So it is only on legal roots and evidence presented to the judges that a decision is taken.”

Museveni attacks ICC at Uhuru’s swearing-in

http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Museveni-attacks-ICC-at-Uhuru-s-swearing-in/-/688334/1744026/-/3h5rn9/-/index.html

By ISMAIL MUSA LADU

Posted  Wednesday, April 10  2013 at  01:00

In Summary
The President says the institution’s usually opinionated and arrogant actors using their careless analysis have distorted its purpose.
Kampala
President Museveni yesterday lashed out at the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying it has been “grabbed by a bunch of self seekers and shallow minded people whose interests is to mint revenge on those who hold opposing views.”

Without specifying the “ICC grabbers, self seekers and shallow minded people”, President Museveni said the election of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, Mr William Ruto, is a reminder to those using the ICC to blackmail others (African leaders) for selfish reasons that Africa is not a haven for them.

The President was among dignitaries attending President Kenyatta’s inauguration ceremony at Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi yesterday. “I want to salute the Kenyan voters on one other issue—the rejection of the blackmail by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and those who seek to abuse this institution for their own agenda,” Mr Museveni said. He continued: “I was one of those that supported the ICC because I abhor impunity. However, the usually 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.”

According to President Museveni, what happened in Kenyan election in 2007, where more than 1,000 people were killed, was not just regrettable but must be condemned. However, in his view, the external legalistic process happening at Hague is not the solution to the electoral violence or the African problems.

The President’s advice
He said: “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 added that instead of a thorough and thoughtful process, individuals are engaged in legal gymnastics!

Citing Uganda’s case, he said between 1966 and 1986, the country lost about 800,000 people, but it was not the ICC or the UN that helped the country deal with the sad chapter of the country’s history. “We only referred Joseph Kony of LRA to the ICC because he was operating outside Uganda. Otherwise, we would have handled him ourselves,” said President Museveni.



UPC angered by Museveni’s remarks on ICC


Publish Date: Apr 10, 2013


By Moses Mulondo & Olive Namukwaya


The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) has expressed disappointment over President Yoweri Museveni's denouncement of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday in Kenya.


“President Museveni has put our nation to shame by opposing ICC’s efforts to bring to book the perpetrators of the 2007 Kenya violence. President Museveni wants to eat his cake and then have it at the same time .He misrepresented Uganda. It shows he is not committed to the struggle against violation of human rights,” the UPC spokesperson Okello Lucima said on Wednesday.


The UPC leaders explained that there is no way Africans can trust internal undertakings to fight violations of human rights when most of the African governments are autocratic.


“Whether you are talking about the East African Community or the African Union, they are simply organizations serving the interests of African presidents not the interests of the African people. That is why international interventions like ICC are necessary,” he elaborated.


Referring to the 2009 Kayunga riots during which many were shot dead, the Luwero war, killings in Northern Uganda, Rwanda  genocide, Uganda’s military activities in DR Congo, Okello appealed to ICC to investigate the crimes and violations of human rights.


On why UPC top leaders were absent at the wedding of Lira Municipality MP Jimmy Akena, Okello said, “UPC is not just the party president, his vice, the party chairman and party spokesperson. There are so many UPC members who attended his wedding.”


In the recent past, there have been wrangles in UPC ignited by a group led by Akena who wanted to overthrow the party President Olara Otunnu.


Asked whether Olara had been invited to attend the wedding, Okello said, “Yes, the party president was invited but he had prior plans which made him travel abroad before the wedding.”

The UPC leaders also expressed shock that of all the role model leaders on the African continent, the Kenyan government chose President Museveni to be the chief guest on the swearing in ceremony for the newly elected Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta.


“There is nothing fresh and inspiring that Museveni can give the Kenyans. His democratic credentials are so wanting. They should have given that honour to the South African President Jacob Zuma or the Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete,” he said.


About government’s decision to withdrawal the controversial marriage and divorce Bill which UPC has been supporting, the UPC leaders said it was a clear indication that the NRM government is not committed to the struggle for women emancipation and protecting women from injustices committed against them in marriage.


The party also repeated its call for a truth and reconciliation commission for truth telling about all the political evils committed in the past.


Okello sounded a wake-up call to the nation to rise up and stop the passing of the Public Order Management Bill which is currently being debated in parliament arguing it would stifle democracy in the country.



Museveni’s attack on international court is diversionary - Besigye


By Richard Wanambwa

Posted  Friday, April 12  2013 at  01:00

In Summary

The FDC leader says President Museveni wanted to divert attention away from his long stay in power.

The former Forum for Democratic Change president, Dr Kizza Besigye, has said President Museveni’s attack on the International Criminal Court (ICC) is diversionary.
Dr Besigye said in an interview on Wednesday that Mr Museveni intended to divert attention from his long stay in power.

President Museveni, while speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of the new Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, who is facing charges at the ICC for alleged crimes against humanity, accused the court of blackmail, incompetence and self-interest in charging the new Kenyan leader.

Dr Besigye said: “I therefore, think that Museveni chose to attack the ICC simply as quest for cheap popularity amongst the supporters of Ruto and Uhuru, whom he was addressing but also to deflect from the paradox of a dictator who has been in power for nearly 30 years witnessing a peaceful handover of power.”

Dr Besigye added: “I am sure he expected Kenyans to heckle him as they have done before as he attended (Mwai) Kibaki’s swearing-in ceremony in 2007.”

He said in the case of Kenya, the UN Security Council gave the country a chance to set chambers for trial in Kenya but Kenyans through Parliament and Cabinet, where those indicted were members, debated and decided that the matter be tried at ICC and therefore, it was unfair for Mr Museveni to attack the ICC.

“The scathing attack of the ICC by Museveni is shocking to me because ICC is set up by governments and Uganda is a signatory to the Rome Statute and it rectified it, ” he said.
When contacted for comment over Besigye’s remarks, Presidency minister Frank Tumwebaze dismissed Dr Besigye as ill-informed about the President’s address in Kenya.

He said President Museveni was only wondering why ICC indicted President Kenyatta and new deputy president William Ruto when the matter at hand was a ‘community rivalry’.

“Besigye should address things in the right context. The President outlined how Kony was taken to ICC and wondered why ICC indicted Ruto and Uhuru and yet the matter at hand was between communities. And in any case, he isn’t the only one wondering whether taking the two to ICC will solve the community rivalry,” Mr Tumwebaze said.

Dr Besigye congratulated President Kenyatta and the people of Kenya for demonstrating to the rest of Africa that peaceful change of power from one leader to another was possible.