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Kasese MPs seek ICC intervention after Rwenzururu raid

Kasese MPs talk to the press about their ICC petition. PHOTO BY GODFREY SSALI

Kasese Members of Parliament (MPs) have petition the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the recent raid on the palace of  Rwenzururu King  Charles Wesley Mumbere that left up to 100 dead.

The MPs confirmed to the press on Wednesday that they want an investigation on President Yoweri Museveni for reportedly ordering the attack on the palace, Brigadier Peter Elwelu, the 2nd Division commander of the Uganda’s People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) who commanded the operation and Asuman Mugyenyi, the assistant Inspector General of Uganda Police Force (UPDF) who arrested the “Omusinga” Charles Wesley Mumbere.

The Kasese Group showed the press a letter, said to be from the ICC confirming they have received the complaint over the alleged crimes against humanity.

The letter stated that, “The office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court acknowledges receipt of your documents/letter. This communication has been duly entered in the Communications Register of the Offic.”

“We will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court. Please note this acknowledgment letter does not mean an investigation has been opened, nor that an investigation will be opened by the Office of the Prosecutor.”

The acknowledgement was dated January 3, 2017, signed by  Mark Dillon, the head of Information and Evidence in the Office of the Prosecutor, ICC.

The complaint was submitted last month by leaders of Kasese led by the leader of opposition in parliament who is also Kasese woman member of parliament Winnie Kiiza, requesting the prosecutor to open a “criminal investigation into the activities of the security forces involving crimes against humanity.”

The other petitioners are members of parliament, Busongora North MP William Nzoughu, Kasese municipality MP Centinary Franco Robert, Bukonzo West MP Katusabe Atkins, Bukhonzo East MP Muhindo Harold Tonny and a concerned citizen, Sunday Apollo.

The petitioners and their lawyer Samuel Muyizzi addressed a press conference on Wednesday at Lebanese restaurant, Centenary Park in Kampala.

In the petition submitted to the office of  the ICC Prosecutor  Fatou Bensouda, the leaders, through their lawyer Samuel Muyizzi from Alaka and company advocates said the series of events and actions by the joint Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and Uganda Police Force (UPF) “constitute torture, genocide and hence perpetrators ought to be subjected to prosecution by the International Criminal Court.”

Winnie Kiiza said records showed that the “forces had killed at least 130 people including men, women and children” during an attack on the palace of Rwenzururu king Omusinga Charles Mumbere on November 26th and 27th 2016.

The Uganda Police on its part said they had raided the palace to flush out militia who had attacked and killed policemen in the region.

In the petition, the group contends that the joint attacks were massive and that the collateral damage to human life was exceedingly ruthless, brutal and inhuman.

The MPs said they have ” evidence of the designed, deliberate, premeditated and well-orchestrated plan which was not provoked by the kingdom leadership and its subjects but by a blood thirsty army outfit.”

The attack on the palace led to the arrest of Charles Wesley Mumbere, who was on December,  13 2016 charged with terrorism, aggravated robbery and attempted murder among other charges during a court hearing in the eastern town of Jinja, Uganda.

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editor@independent.co.ug

 

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