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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09KAMPALA761 2009-07-14 11:57:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Kampala
Cable title:  

UGANDA AND THE ICC: WALKING A TIGHT ROPE ON BASHIR INVITE

Tags:   PHUM PREL UG 
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VZCZCXRO6765
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DE RUEHKM #0761 1951157
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141157Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1595
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 0169
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0119
					  UNCLAS KAMPALA 000761 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL UG
SUBJECT: UGANDA AND THE ICC: WALKING A TIGHT ROPE ON BASHIR INVITE



1. (SBU) Summary: After initial ambiguities over its stance towards
the International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment of Sudanese
President Omar el-Bashir, Uganda has clarified its carefully
balanced stance. It has disassociated itself from the recent Africa
Union (AU) resolution calling on African ICC members not to
cooperate with the ICC to enforce the Bashir indictment, but
supports an earlier AU decision to conduct its own investigation
into the case during a 12 month deferral of the indictment. Last
but not least, Uganda has reconfirmed its commitment to the Rome
Statute, meaning very clearly that it will execute an arrest warrant
should Bashir opt to attend an African business summit to be held in
Kampala in late July. End summary.



2. (U) Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem in a July
13 joint press conference with visiting ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis
Moreno Ocampo acknowledged that Bashir had been invited to the
Global Smart Partnership Dialogue to be held in Uganda July 26-28.
Oryem noted, however, that Uganda would honor its legal obligations
under the Rome Statute. He confirmed that an arrest warrant for
Bashir had been sent to Uganda's Office of the Solicitor General and
commented that "if and when Bashir arrives in Uganda, it would be up
to Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihrua to take action."
Stressing the differences between Uganda's political commitments to
the AU and its legal obligations under the Rome Statue, Ocampo
pushed for Bashir's arrest should he travel to Uganda.



3. (SBU) Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary James Mugume confirmed
Oryem's public statement to the Charge on July 14, adding that
Uganda was "committed" to the Rome Statue. As such, like Botswana
and Ghana, Uganda has disassociated itself from the AU Summit
resolution in Sirte, Libya instructing African ICC members not to
cooperate with the ICC in apprehending Bashir, he explained. That
resolution, Mugume lamented, was rammed through the summit by
Mu'ammar Qadhafi and was "insensitive to members' views." Mugume
said that the GOU supported the February 2009 AU decision to appoint
an eight-member commission led by former South African president
Thabo Mbeki to investigate the Bashir indictment and form an
"African point of view." To give this commission time to do its
work, the AU decision further sought to defer the indictment for 12
months in accordance with Article 16 of the Rome Statute. Uganda
also fully supports this call for deferral of the indictment.
Mugume said that President Museveni delivered this message to Ocampo
in their July 13 meeting.



4. (SBU) Mugume explained that Bashir, as an African head of state,
was automatically invited to the Global Smart Partnership Dialogue.
He said that the GOU is trying to discourage him from attending
because its legal commitment to the Rome Statute would require that
he be arrested. Organized by the Office of the President, the
Dialogue aims to promote investment and development by bringing
together Heads of State and over 500 participants from five
continents, to include business executives, academics, political
leaders, scientists, civil servants, cultural, literary, and media
figures.



5. (SBU) Comment: Despite some initial ambiguity, Oryem's public
statement on the GOU's intent to honor its obligations under the
Rome Statue is consistent with the Government's moderate stance on
the ICC warrant. It is clear that the GOU would rather Bashir not
travel to Uganda, and has thus followed South Africa's lead by
making it publicly clear that it would enforce the warrant. End
Comment.

HOOVER