Museveni, Magufuli Condemn ICC Decision On Burundi


In short
he two Presidents who have been meeting in Uganda said the ICC decision is likely divert them from peace making.

President Museveni and his Tanzanian counterpart, Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli have condemned the decision by the International Criminal Court to open a war crimes investigation into Burundi, saying it is likely undermine regional peace initiatives.

The two Presidents who have been meeting in Uganda said the ICC decision is likely divert them from peace making.

President Museveni is of the view that the ICC process should be halted for the peace process to be given a chance.

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President Museveni who doubles as Chair of the East African Community has been working with the former Tanzanian President, Benjamin Mkapa to bring the warring parties in Burundi to talks.
President, John Pombe Joseph Magufuli concurred with President Museveni condemning the latest ICC decision on Burundi.
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Former Tanzanian President, Benjamin Mkpaa and his team of mediators on Burundi peace talks are expected to hold another round of talks during the third week of November.

Judges Chang-ho Chung, Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua, and Raul C. Pangalangan of pretrial chamber III issued the decision to open an investigation on October 25. The decision was under seal to protect victims and potential witnesses.
While the two leaders are opposed to the ICC decision, Hum Rights Watch in a statement said the decision by the Court give victims hope that those responsible for grave crimes over the past two years could be held to account.
In late April 2015, the announcement by the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy - Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD - FDD) that President Pierre Nkurunziza would run for a third term ignited protests in the capital, Bujumbura, and later in other locations.
Members of the Burundi ruling party's youth league, the Imbonerakure, and government security forces, particularly the national intelligence service allegedly killed and tortured scores of opposition political party members and other perceived opponents.

"Members of the Imbonerakure and government forces' devastating track record of unchecked abuses, which include rape, torture, and executions, left Burundi ripe for ICC scrutiny," said Param-Preet Singh, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch.
Param-Preet Singh  said the International Criminal Court involvement means victims in Burundi and their families may one day see those responsible brought to justice.
Burundi became a state party to the ICC in December 2004. Following its notification to the UN secretary general of its intent to leave the court in October 2016, on October 27, 2017, Burundi became the first member country to officially withdraw from the ICC.
The pretrial chamber found that the court has jurisdiction over crimes allegedly committed while Burundi was an ICC state party. The judges also concluded that the prosecutor is authorized "to extend her investigation to crimes which were committed before 26 April 2015 or continue after 26 October 2017 if certain legal requirements are met."
So far, the ICC prosecutor has identified the crimes against humanity of murder and attempted murder, imprisonment or severe deprivation of liberty, torture, rape, forced disappearance, and persecution allegedly committed in Burundi, and in certain instances outside of the country by Burundi nationals.

In September, a UN-mandated commission of inquiry indicated that there were reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed in Burundi, including murder, torture, rape, imprisonment, and persecution, against a backdrop of almost total impunity. The commission urged the ICC to investigate these violations.
The ICC  according to Human Rights Watch is meant to act as a court of last resort, stepping in only when national courts cannot or will not prosecute the most serious international crimes.

Hundreds of people have been tortured, killed, raped, or disappeared in Burundi since 2015. The Burundian justice system, deeply corrupt and manipulated by ruling party officials, almost never conducts credible investigations or brings those responsible for these crimes to justice. Hundreds of arbitrarily arrested people have been detained on trumped-up charges