Uganda President Yoweri Museveni Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the International Criminal Court (ICC), accusing it of having been hijacked to serve the interest of the West.
Mr Museveni said although he was one of the ardent supporters of the court because he abhors impunity, the ICC had been turned by western powers into an avenue “to install leaders of their choice in Africa and eliminate the ones they don’t like.”
Mr Museveni hailed Kenyans for “rejecting the blackmail of the ICC” in electing President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto, who both face crime against humanity charges at the Hague-based court.
“There are those who seek to abuse this institution for their own agenda,” he said to a thunderous applause from more than 60, 000 Kenyans and world dignitaries who attended the swearing-in ceremony of Mr Kenyatta and Ruto in Nairobi Tuesday.
Eleven African Heads of State, five Prime Ministers, four vice presidents and two former presidents attended the handover ceremony in which retired President Mwai Kibaki passed on the mantle of leadership to Mr Kenyatta at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.
President Museveni said what happened in Kenya during the disputed 2007/08 presidential election that led to the killing of more than 1,000 people is a Kenyan affair.
“What happened in 2007 was regrettable and must be condemned. External process cannot address these events. It needs idiological solutions from within by discerning why intercommunity violence occurred.”
He said in Uganda, more than 800, 000 people died between 1966 and 1986 as a result of leaders who were in charge of that country.
“How did we handle that sad history of our country? Did you hear us ask the UN or the ICC to come and help us with that sad history? I can’t accept UN in Uganda,” he charged.
He said his country referred LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony to the ICC because he “is operating outside Uganda.”
He challenged Mr Kenyatta to embrace the close working relation that Kibaki had with regional leaders saying only concerted efforts will actualize the exploitation of resources like oil and gas.