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EU Urges Uganda to Respect International Law

As a signatory to the treaty, Uganda has an obligation to arrest Omar al-Bashir who was indicted by the International Criminal Court for masterminding crimes against humanity in Darfur region. He faces charges of murder, forcible transfer, extermination and rape, according to ICC warrants of arrest issued in 2010.
The European Union has urged Uganda to respect its obligations under international law and as a State Party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court.

The plea is embedded in a declaration by Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy following a two-day official visit of Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir to Uganda.

“The European Union and its Member States regret the visit of President Omar Al-Bashir to Uganda, a State party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

As a signatory to the treaty, Uganda has an obligation to arrest Omar al-Bashir who was indicted by the International Criminal Court for masterminding crimes against humanity in Darfur region. He faces charges of murder, forcible transfer, extermination and rape, according to ICC warrants of arrest issued in 2010.

Bashir also faces two counts of war crimes for intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population and pillaging, and three counts of genocide: by killing, by causing serious bodily and deliberately inflicting conditions calculated to bring about the physical destruction of a particular group.

But Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has in the past led criticism of the ICC, calling it a bunch of useless people and a biased instrument of post-colonial hegemony. Museveni has also stated that Africa should urgently reconsider its engagement with ICC on account of its humiliating treatment of the continent.

A few African countries, among them, Burundi and South Africa, have started an exit process from the treaty that created the ICC, saying the court unfairly targets Africans.

However, the EU stated in a statement issued this afternoon that all Member States of the United Nations are duty bound to abide by and implement the resolutions adopted by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, notably UNSCR 1593(2005).

In the resolution, the Security Council decided to refer the situation in Darfur since 1 July 2002 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and asked that the Government of Sudan and all other parties to the conflict in Darfur, to cooperate fully and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor pursuant to this resolution.

The statement adds that the European Union is committed to enforcing the international criminal law and to ending impunity and remains a staunch supporter of the ICC.

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