The International Criminal Court has dismissed a petition by Uganda’s political and human rights activists and stated that the clashes between the government and Rwenzururu kingdom which led to the deaths of more than 100 people, did not amount to crimes against humanity or genocide against the Bakonzo.

The activists had petitioned the international court to bring charges against President Museveni and a UPDF Lt Gen Peter Elwelu, for alleged crimes against humanity .

ICC said it had received a number of complaints and requests to investigate the killings with the possibility of charging the perpetrators for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

However the ICC has after investigations ruled out pressing on with the charges.

“The office notes that there were incidents of violence, including violent clashes between the Uganda security forces and militants groups…in the absence of the required intensity and organisation the office has noted that the alleged acts could not be appropriately considered within the framework of article 8 of the statute…the alleged conduct also did not satisfy the contextual elements of the crime of genocide under article 6 of the statute,” the report notes in part.

The ICC noted that since the royal guards were armed, the security forces where right to handle the matter in the way they did. They ICC noted that at least 14 constables were killed after various police posts were attacked by the royal guards.

Still, ICC agreed that the operation was carried out in an indiscriminate and disproportionate manner which led to the deaths of many innocent civilians.

The Kasese killings were sparked off on 26 November 2016 when security personnel raided Rwenzururu kingdom offices, killing eight royal guards and arresting two others.

Government had accused the guards of attacking police posts and killing policemen. In the ensuing violence, at least 87 royal guards and an undisclosed number of civilians including women and children lost their lives.

The Omusinga of Rwenzururu, Charles Mumbere, was also arrested and charged with murder. He remains under house arrest.


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