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Uganda’s main opposition leader asked the International Criminal Court on Thursday to investigate President Yoweri Museveni and senior officials for sanctioning human rights abuses in the run-up to next week’s presidential election.
Popstar-turned-lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi, who goes by the name Bobi Wine, told reporters during a Zoom news conference from his car on the campaign trail that his lawyer had submitted the filing to The Hague court on Thursday.
The ICC has the authority to hear cases of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity committed in the 123 countries, including Uganda, that have signed up to it.
Uganda has in the past sought the ICC’s help in bringing leaders of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army to justice though it has more recently accused The Hague court of targeting Africans, a common sentiment on the continent.
The 41-page brief filed by Wine requests the ICC investigate Museveni, Security Minister Elly Tumwine and eight senior security officials. It asks the ICC to consider incidents dating back to 2018, saying the police and military have deployed, “widespread use of shoot to kill, beatings and other violence”.
“As we do with all such communications, we will analyse the materials submitted, as appropriate, in accordance with the Rome Statute and with full independence and impartiality,” the office of the ICC prosecutor said.
The ICC receives hundreds of briefs a year and a filing does not automatically lead to any investigation.
“That is sheer desperation,” Okello Oryem, Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs, told Reuters.
“(The opposition) have tried everything under the sun, they have failed. Now they are resorting to the ICC. We are a law abiding country, we are a peace loving country,” he said.
(reuters)FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA