Why U.S., EU Diplomats Walked Out of Museveni’s Inauguration

Diplomats of western countries led by United States on Thursday walked out of President Museveni’s inauguration ceremony in Kampala, dosage protesting the leader’s remarks on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and hosting his Sudanese counterpart, tadalafil Omar Bashir.

Museveni labeled the ICC “a bunch of useless people”, this adding he did not know about their lack of seriousness when Uganda signed the Rome Statute.

“Our Brother El Bashir is here with us today. The ICC is none of our business. It is a useless body,” said Museveni.

“We used to support the ICC thinking they were serious but they are just a bunch of useless people.”

This compelled western diplomats to walk out of the function graced by several African heads of state including Robert Mugabe, Jacob Zuma, Salva Kiir, Uhuru Kenyatta and John Pombe Magufuli among others.

The U.S. State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau confirmed that U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac and a visiting Washington-based official, along with several European and Canadian diplomats, abruptly left the inauguration.

According to ABC news, Trudeau said the U.S. also objected to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s participation in the inauguration. Al-Bashir has been charged by the court for atrocities in Sudan’s western Darfur region.

Trudeau did not identify the European or Canadian diplomats involved. She said Museveni’s comments were “insulting” to both the court and to victims of war crimes and genocide.


“We believe that walking out in protest is an appropriate reaction to a head of state mocking efforts to ensure accountability for victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, particularly when his country has committed to accountability as a state party to the Rome Statute” that established the court, she said.

ChimpReports understands Bashir’s arrival was kept a secret until the last minute.

Human Rights Watch issued a statement saying he should not be welcomed.

“Uganda’s President Museveni has banned social media and detained some opposition leaders, but he’ll tarnish his inauguration further by welcoming Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, an international fugitive sought for alleged atrocities in Darfur,” said Maria Burnett, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Al-Bashir belongs before the International Criminal Court, not attending inaugural celebrations. If al-Bashir does enter Uganda, Ugandan authorities should arrest him and send him to The Hague.”

Why Museveni blasted ICC

This website has asked senior officials why Museveni was angry with ICC and the West during his inauguration.

It will be recalled that since his days as a guerilla, Museveni received diplomatic support from western leaders.

In several regional conflicts, the U.S. has always been on Museveni’s side. It was not until recently that a fall-out became apparent.

Museveni blamed the west for spreading homosexuality and interfering with the running of Uganda’s domestic affairs.

Matters worsened when intelligence indicated that former ICC Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo was working closely with former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and opposition strongman Dr Kizza Besigye to open a case against the Ugandan leader.

Ocampo was photographed while meeting with the Ugandan opposition leaders during the TDA meetings in London, UK.

The African Union has previously warned that ICC continues to pursue a political agenda against the continent’s leaders, a charge the Hague-based court denies.

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