Museveni calls for Uganda, Africa to pull out of ICC

Presidential canditates Amama Mbabazi and Yoweri Museveni shaking hands at the second and last televised debate in Kampala Saturday.

Presidential canditates Amama Mbabazi and Yoweri Museveni shaking hands at the second and last televised debate in Kampala, Saturday.

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and another 2016 presidential hopeful Dr. Abed Bwanika have called for Uganda and Africa to exit the International Criminal Court (ICC) saying the court is biased against Africans.

Museveni and his rival in the presidential race voiced the appeal during the second and last televised presidential debate ahead of next week’s highly anticipated general election in Kampala, Uganda, Saturday.

The duo agreed, rather surprisingly that the Hague-based court is renown for targeting African leaders and ignoring their western counterparts.

“ICC is not serious,” Museveni said adding Uganda and other African countries should leave the court and form an Africa criminal court instead.

President Museveni has in the past railed against the ICC accusing it of undertaking a witch-hunt against Africa.

Today’s development comes days after the 26th Summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where leaders backed the Kenyan proposal to leave the court.

Museveni and many African leaders argue the courts decision to go after ex-leaders like Liberia’s Charles Taylor, Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast and President Oumar el Bashir of Sudan, and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto is unfair, unjust and misguided.

At Saturday’s debate, without mentioning names, Museveni said there are so many leaders in the west that ought to be pursued by the ICC.  Africans leaders have urged the court to indict former US President George W.Bush and UK’s former premier Tony Blair for their role in executing Iraq war.

Meanwhile, Museveni and seven other presidential candidates including Kizza Besigye and Amama Mbabazi sparred on a range of other issues like national security, the economy, foreign policy and regional conflicts.

“The bottom line is no one can play around with the security of Uganda when I am president,” Museveni said at the lengthy debate.

His archrival, Col. (rtd) Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Amama Mbabazi of Go Forward challenged Mr. Museveni on Uganda’s involvement in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1990s, oil revenues, and whether or not Ugandans are secure just because the country not at war, among other issues.