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Ugandan MPs slum govt on “ICC Withdrawal”

Former LRA commander Ongwen being led into court. FILE PHOTO ICC MEDIA

Members of parliament across the political divide have dismissed with suspicion a statement by the Attorney General William Byaruhanga regarding Uganda’s position on the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Attorney General William Byaruhanga has told parliament that Uganda has not notified the International Criminal Court (ICC) or any organization of intentions to withdraw from the Rome Statute, which sets up the ICC.

Byaruhanga said Uganda simply raised concerns, as part of  the African Union’s anti-ICC stand because of perceived target on African leaders.

“Government had not and has not notified any person or organization that it was or is withdrawing from the Rome Statute. The apprehension that we are withdrawing from the Rome Statute both within Uganda and abroad, is purely based on conjecture,” Byaruhanga said in a statement to Parliament on Tuesday.

According to a Parliament Watch report, members including Dokolo South MP Fe­lix Okot Ogong, Ibrahim Semujju Nganda of Kiira Municipality and William Nzoghu of Busongora North however said there should be no doubt that Uganda still needs the ICC. Semujju demanded the Attorney General be specific instead of “speaking ambiguously.”

Okot Ogong said that, “since there are already cases committed to the ICC such as the ongoing trial of Dominic Ongwen a former commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), it would be irrational for government to even think of withdrawing.”



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