Despite President Yoweri Museveni’s open despise for the International Criminal Court (ICC), Ugandan lawmakers have sent a petition to the international tribunal to investigate possible heinous acts by security forces which might have occurred when they had an altercation with a tribal militia last year.
In November 2016, Ugandan soldiers and policemen clashed with a tribal leader’s guards in the Rwenzori region near Uganda’s western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Official reports stated that 62 lives were lost. However, William Nzoghu, a legislator from the Rwenzori area and one of six members of parliament who sent the petition to the ICC, said the number of people killed was more than 200, accusing the police and the army of a “jointly committed genocide and crimes against humanity”.
“We are saying let the ICC come and investigate,” he told Reuters on Wednesday.
The Rwenzori region which reportedly votes for the opposition during elections has been marred by conflict in recent years.
In the last general elections in Uganda, the Rwenzori region was highly in support of a Kiiza Besigye win. However, Museveni emerged winner as usual since 1986 despite the irregularities.
Critics believe their choice of vote is a primary reason for unrest in the region. They accuse the longtime ruler, President Yoweri Museveni of instigating violence in the region due to the people’s failure to accept the candidates of his party.
Security officials nonetheless disagree with this theory. Rather, they accuse Mumbere and co of trying to secede from Uganda.
Human rights group, Amnesty International described the atrocity which took place in the region as extra-judicial killings.
The clash led to the arrest of the tribal leader, Charles Wesley Mumbere. As a result, the tribal leader was charged with treason, murder and other crimes. A large number of his guards were also placed in detention.Some of whom bared their open wounds in court which they stated were inflicted on them by security officials.
The ICC is yet to make an official announcement of their decision, stating that it would be done
in due course.