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FULL STATEMENT: Uganda speaks out on ICJ ruling, Sebutinde

Justice Sebutinde is a Ugandan judge serving her second term at the ICJ [Courtesy: YouTube/Academy for Cultural Diplomacy]

Kampala, (UG): The Government of Uganda Saturday issued a statement affirming it recognises this week’s order by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel, and also disassociating itself from a dissenting judgment by Judge Julia Sebutinde.

Foreign affairs PS Bagiire Vincent Waiswa said the ICJ order for Israel to prevent genocide acts in Gaza is in line with the position of the recently concluded 19th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), held in Kampala on 19 – 20 January 2024.

The Heads of State and Government of the NAM condemned the continuing Israeli military campaign against the defenseless Palestinian people and deplored the killing of over 21,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in the period between October and December 2023.

Judge Sebutinde dissented from the majority in the ICJ Order, arguing that the dispute between the State of Israel and the people of Palestine is essentially and historically a political one, calling for a diplomatic or negotiated settlement, and for the implementation in good faith of all relevant Security Council resolutions by all parties concerned, with a view to finding a permanent solution whereby the Israeli and Palestinian peoples can peacefully coexist.

In her opinion, Justice Sebutinde said this is not a legal dispute susceptible of judicial settlement by the Court.

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“The Government categorically clarifies that, the position taken by Judge Sebutinde is her own individual and independent opinion, and does not in any way, reflect the position of the Government of the Republic of Uganda,” he said.

The NAM called for an immediate end to the Israeli military aggression and siege on the Gaza Strip and for immediate, unimpeded and sufficient humanitarian assistance at scale, to meet the enormous needs of the Palestinian civilian population and to enable urgently needed reconstruction and recovery, in accordance with the recent Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on this matter.

They also rejected any individual or mass forcible transfer and deportation of Palestinians from the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including to any other country, which amounts to a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions.

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UGANDA statement

STATEMENT ON THE ORDER BY THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE REGARDING THE APPLICATION OF THE CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION AND PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE IN THE GAZA STRIP (SOUTH AFRICA v. ISRAEL): 26 JANUARY, 2024

The Government of Uganda takes note of the Order by the International Court of Justice, issued on 26th January, 2024 with regard to a case by the Republic of South Africa, on the application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip.

In this regard, the Government of Uganda affirms its association with the decisions and positions of the recently concluded 19th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), held in Kampala on 19 – 20 January 2024, as contained in the Kampala Final Outcome Document, and the Political Declaration on Palestine. Among other things, the Heads of State and Government of the NAM:

• Condemned the continuing Israeli military campaign against the defenseless Palestinian people, and deplored the killing of over 21,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in the period between October and December 2023, over 70% of whom were children and women, and the wounding and maiming of over 55,000 Palestinian children, women and men in bombardments by air, land and sea by the Israeli occupying forces, as well as ongoing attacks by occupying forces and settlers in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, that killed over 300 Palestinians, including 79 children, and wounded more than 3,800 people in the same period, in addition to the killing of 200 other Palestinians in 2023.

• Called for an immediate end to the Israeli military aggression and siege on the Gaza Strip and for immediate, unimpeded and sufficient humanitarian assistance at scale, to meet the enormous needs of the Palestinian civilian population and to enable urgently needed reconstruction and recovery, especially of homes and vital infrastructure, including in particular of hospitals, schools and water, sanitation and electricity networks, in accordance with the recent Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on this matter.

• Rejected any individual or mass forcible transfer and deportation of Palestinians from the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including to any other country, which amounts to a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions.

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The Government of Uganda further notes the opinion of Judge Julia Sebutinde on the matter. The Government categorically clarifies that, the position taken by Judge Sebutinde is her own individual and independent opinion, and does not in any way, reflect the position of the Government of the Republic of Uganda.

Bagiire Vincent Waiswa
PERMANENT SECRETARY



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