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Ugandans endorse the Investigation of War Crimes Committed in Kasese, Uganda

This petition had 2,233 supporters

Ugandans endorse the Investigation of War Crimes Committed in Kasese, Uganda


The Chief Prosecutor, ICC;

Your attention is drawn to the recent filling of a petition by the political leaders from Kasese District in Uganda, by which they seek your mandate to Investigate possible War Crimes committed by the Joint Security Forces of Uganda; under the direct command of the President of Uganda and Commander in Chief, Mr Yoweri K. Museveni.

Pursuant the global wave against the relevance of the ICC in holding global leaders and non-state actors accountable for war crimes; a wave that has seen the withdrawal of numerous nations from the ICC and others consider doing the same, we the citizens of Uganda find this an opportune moment to evaluate the relevance of the ICC in global justice and accountability.

In the face of State Actors pursuing violent means by which to settle political differences in communities under their jurisdiction, citizens are left incapable of trusting national mechanisms of Justice and accountability given the structure of the state in our nations. In this case, the state pronounced on extreme measures without due respect to legal processes of bringing suspects before courts of law to receive fair hearings in those matters for which they were sentenced to heinous death.

In the petition filed before you, receipt of which has been confirmed by the ICC, National leaders have agreed to submit the people before legal processes, but, seek investigation into the manner in which unarmed civilians that were not party to the conflict were summarily executed, in some instances with hands tied behind their backs, in confirmation of the fact that they had been apprehended and disarmed; for which they should then have been subjected to courts of law to determine conviction and sentence. We also believe that numerous options were available to the state in execution of its mandate; options that should have led to apprehension and conviction as opposed to indiscriminate bombardment without regard to the presence of non-combatants.

Whereas the people of Uganda recognise the role of the state in fulfilling its mandate to guarantee security and territorial integrity, they insist on laid out procedures and means by which the state must fulfil its mandate. The constitution of Uganda does not condone the execution of prisoners of war, nor their inhumane torture. In addition to executed prisoners of war, Television coverage of the regrettable incident also saw tied up prisoners thrown off security trucks at police stations.

Worse still, the murdered non-combatants that included women and children; more still the way in which they were murdered, in our view, constitute crimes against humanity - Crimes that must be investigated by impartial global mechanisms to ensure proper accountability from those to whom coercive instruments are entrusted. The bodies buried in mass graves in security installations - as confirmed by state authorities - remain cause for concern as to their identity, even with the existence of national biometric data by which they could have been identified. It is this disregard for human life and common decency for which we implore the ICC to investigate the nature in which this operation was carried out.

This petition is therefore aimed at raising thousands of signatures to show solidarity with our leaders since this was a national and regional tragedy as opposed to a local one, and, as show of faith in your institution to deliver on its mandate as per the Rome Statute - faith that we believe is not misplaced despite the global wave of nations seeking to withdraw from the ICC so as to limit the options of citizens in holding their leaders accountable.

Finally, we believe that though this investigation may not lead to prosecution and conviction, as stated in your receipt of the petition filled before you, it will lead to proper investigations that will not only foster better mechanisms of future conflict resolution, but also maintain a level of accountability in how States approach deployment of coercive elements against their own citizens so as not to entrench impunity of Political Leaders and Security Forces. It is our prayer that this petition proves the support of Ugandans and Global Citizens for your EXPEDITIOUS investigative role in this matter. Ugandans and all peace loving Global Citizens are thus urged to append their physical and digital signatures in support of this petition.

cc: International Court of Justice
cc: All parties named in the petition filed before you

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