NAIROBI, Dec 13 – Ugandan president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Friday swore to lead a mass walk-out of African countries from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
President Museveni, who spoke during Kenya’s Jamhuri day celebrations at Nyayo national stadium, said he initially supported the Rome statute but was done with the court over how it treats African leaders.
“I will personally table a motion in the next AU Summit for the continent to withdraw its membership of ICC.
President Museveni accused the court of disregarding Africa’s voice and setting its agenda to target leaders from the continent.
President Museveni was among three heads of state and delegations from five African countries that joined other invited dignitaries in commemorating Kenya’s independence.
Others were Paul Kagame of Rwanda, John Mahama of Ghana, Vice Presidents of Comoros and South Sudan and representatives from Tanzania, Burundi and Ethiopia.
The keynote address was delivered by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Ugandan leader said he was happy that ICC had now dropped the case against President Kenyatta, confirming his innocence in the first place.
“On the same vein, the court should also consider withdrawing the charges facing Deputy President William Ruto and his co-accused,” Museveni said.
He noted that it is disrespectful to the Kenyan voter for the court to ignore the fact that the country’s Vice President was popularly elected last year and should be accorded the opportunity to serve.
The Kenyan cases angered President Museveni and many other African leaders who accuse the court of infringing on the sovereignty of nations.
“We as African Union told them to defer the Kenyan cases until the President and his Deputy leave the office but they snubbed us,” said Museveni.
Rwanda’s President said EAC leaders are determined to deepen integration through inter-state infrastructure projects.
Ghana’s leader called for more innovative approaches in the fight against terror and other international crimes.
Others who spoke were South Sudan Vice President James Wani Igga and Comoros’s Mohamed Ali.