BRUSSELS, The Deputy Speaker of Parliament of the Ugandan Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, has called on African countries to consider the proposal of having their own Court of Justice after bashing the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague during the 45th Session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group) Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels.

"We should, as Africa, shoulder our responsibilities and have a court of our own. We await the African Union (AU) decision on this proposal, which we should fully support," added Oulanyah, who argued that as much as each individual country could decide in its own right on whether to stay in the ICC or leave, they must continue the debate on an African Court of Justice until they reached a decision.

"At the end of the day, it's possible for countries to withdraw (from the ICC) if they want to. It is important to note that for the ICC to thrive there should be no iota of bias in its operations," he was quoted as saying in a media statement issued by the Ugandan Parliament Thursday.

Oulanyah contended at the ACP Group Parliamentary Assembly held on Tuesday that the ICC's continued harassment of African leaders positioned it as a vehicle of neo-colonialism which African nations should reject.

"We need to revisit our commitment to the ICC if they continue this attack against our counterparts. We cannot afford to sit back and look the other side as Sudan, Congo and Kenya are harassed," he said.

Oulanyah said Ugandans were among the first to embrace the ICC because they needed help to handle and arrest the leaders of the outlawed Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

"We (Ugandans) could not handle the task alone. Additionally, a number of African countries decided to join the ICC so as to jointly fight impunity on the continent regarding crimes against humanity. However, to our dismay, we are finding that the line that the ICC is toeing has defeated its purpose of existence," he argued.



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