By Muhoozi Mourice
Uganda’s surprise welcome to the Sudanese president Field Marshal Omar Al Bashir has been deemed a betrayal to the international morality and justice.
Bashir who will in uganda on a two day visit was welcomed on Monday to the country by his counterpart, President Yoweri Museveni.
This has been seen by many as an encouragement to impunity among the world’s most dictatorial leaders who commit human tragedies and go uncastigated.
On Monday, human rights groups urged Ugandan authorities to arrest the visiting president of Sudan, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for committing human tragedies in Dafur.
As a ratifier to the Rome statute which established the ICC, Uganda is obliged to arrest El Bashir who has been implicated for alleged war crimes in the southern region of Sudan.
” Inviting an international criminal suspect to Uganda not only undermines the fight against impunity which Uganda has for so long championed but also betrays the concerns and the victims of the most heinous crimes”, Six Ugandan Civil Society Organizations said, in a joint statement.
They again called for his arrest and surrender to international community by the Ugandan government.
It is important to note that defiant leaders will take an impunitive path in their leadership exercises, knowing that they cannot be brought to justice.
It is also a serious thorn in the flesh of the Dafur victims, who still have flesh memories of the tragedies that were committed against them and their relatives by Khartoum, during a long liberation South Sudan war.
“Bashir’s presence in Uganda is an affront to Dafur’s victims”, said the U.S-based human rights watch.
Elisie Keppler, who is a member of the watch, said that other countries like Kenya and Nigeria have avoided such visits by defiant world leaders.
ICC has been sharply criticized for targeting African leaders for instance during his swearing in May 2017, President Museveni uttered derogatory remarks which were directed to the court.
“We had supported the ICC initially, thinking that they were serious. But we later realized that it is just a bunch of useless people” said Museveni during his swearing.
Other leaders and African intellectuals like Rwanda’s Paul Kageme, Kankwazi Leadership Institute lecturer Kajabago Ka Rusoke, have also condemned the court, calling it an element of imperialism and neocolonialism.
While these assertions are to some extent true, suspected international criminals should be apprehended by any country which has the jurisdiction to do so, such that they are brought to book.
This will help to promote the observance of human rights, which are inherent and also promote the observance of international law and justice.