Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as ‘useless’ while applauding Burundi and South Africa’s decision to leave the organisation.
This was reportedly said while he spoke with journalists in Zambia. The President of Uganda was in Zambia to attend the country’s Independence day celebrations which held on Monday the 24th.
“It is a very good decision that South Africa has done that. In fact, it is [the ICC] that is very useless,” Museveni said, according to Lusaka times.
On Friday, South Africa formally announced its withdrawal from the ICC.
The Hague-based International Criminal Court is a judicial institution set up to prosecute the world’s worst crimes. However, it has in time past been criticized by Africans and African leaders for primarily targeting African leaders.
South Africa’s decision to leave the ICC is hinged on the visit of Sudan’s President Bashir to South Africa last year. As a member of the ICC South Africa was expected to arrest President Bashir who is wanted for war crimes, and hand him over to the ICC, but South Africa refused. This turned into a diplomatic squabble that saw South Africa announcing to withdraw from the ICC.
Prior to South Africa’s announcement, Burundi had also opted to leave the institution.
Although President Museveni supports South Africa and Burundi’s move, the opposition in South Africa do not.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) filed papers with the constitutional court to challenge the country’s decision to pull out of the ICC.
In a statement, the party said:
“The notice of withdrawal is in breach … of the Constitution, as it was delivered without first securing a resolution of Parliament authorising South Africa’s withdrawal.”
The ICC has however announced that South Africa and Burundi’s exits will not take place for at least a year.