Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu has petitioned the International Criminal Court (ICC) to indict President Yoweri Museveni for perpetuation electoral violence.
Kyagulanyi said that President Museveni was violating the rights of Ugandans even as the country heads to elections. He says that the basis for their petition which was filled by their lawyers in Uganda and abroad is the violence that is being meted upon his supporters and team and the over 50 people that were killed in November last year.
The Hague based court prosecutes the most serious crimes that are of concern to the international community. These include crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Although it had been proposed that the Court should prosecute the crime of aggression, the state parties have not yet agreed on a definition.
According to Kyagulanyi, the crimes being committed in Uganda tantamount to crimes against humanity. According to the ICC definition, crimes against humanity are crimes that are “committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population.”
They can include acts such as murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, forcible transfer of population, imprisonment, torture, rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, sterilization, other forms of sexual violence, persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity enforced disappearance of persons, the crime of apartheid, other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
Kyagulanyi says that their petition has enough evidence against President Museveni, and Security Minister General Elly Tumwine among others. He said that they took the matter to the ICC because President Museveni has a firm grip on the domestic courts of law.
Kyagulanyi also decried the manner in which he was arrested yesterday from Jinja as he made a stopover on the roadside to address a press conference.
In 2017, Dr Kiiza Besigye collected close to 1 million signatures to petition the International criminal court for to indict President Museveni over the attack on the Rwenzururu Kingdom in which hundreds of lives were lost. The ICC however said that the killings in Kasese didn’t amount to crimes against humanity or genocide.
Meanwhile, Kyagulanyi asked Ugandans to ignore a directive by Justice Simon Byabakama, the chairman of the Electoral Commission that people should go home after voting. He says it is a right of Ugandans to watch the entire exercise for the purpose of transparency.