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Diplomats: Western Envoys In Uganda Walk Out Of Museveni Swearing-In

US, European and Canadian diplomats left abruptly when Mr Museveni made disparaging comments about the International Criminal Court (ICC).[3]

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The US state diplomats said they had also objected to the presence of Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir at the ceremony.  Mr Bashir is wanted by the ICC on charges of genocide.[2]

Thursday’s inauguration, the fifth since Mr Museveni took power in 1986 was attended by leaders from Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. [1]

In his address, Mr Museveni described the ICC as “a bunch of useless diplomats ” and said he no longer supported it.

State department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said: “In response to President Bashir’s presence and President Museveni’s remarks, the US delegation, along with representatives of the EU countries and Canada, departed the inauguration ceremonies to demonstrate our objections.”[4]

“We believe that walking out in protest is an appropriate reaction to a head of state mocking efforts to ensure accountability for victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.”[5]

Ms Trudeau said that was especially the case as Uganda was committed to accountability as a party to the Rome statute, which established the ICC.[6]

The Hague based court has issued international warrants in 2009 and 2010 for Mr Bashir’s arrest on charges of genocide for atrocities in Sudan’s western Darfur region.[7]

Correspondents say that states in theory have a legal duty to arrest ICC suspects on their territory, but African leaders are increasingly doubtful of its authority.[8]

Source: BBC

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