The International Criminal Court (ICC) has formally acknowledged receipt of Veteran opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye’s People’s Government. (PG).
A few years ago, Besigye’s PG started collecting signatures for a petition in which activists pray that the ICC investigates and tries Museveni, top officials in government and security agencies for crimes against humanity.
After a long wait, Besigye’s PG has received acknowledgement of receipt of the petition.
On November 11, Mark P Dillon, the head of information and evidence unit in the office of the ICC prosecutor, wrote back to Besigye and PG confirming receipt.
“The office of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court acknowledges receipt of your documents/letter,” Dillon wrote to the People’s President.
Dillon also told Besigye his petition had been recorded into the communications register of the office of the ICC prosecutor.
He added that the office would give consideration to the petition in line with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the ICC.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
The acknowledgement of receipt doesn’t necessarily mean the ICC will investigate or try Museveni and his government officials for crimes against humanity.
A number of petitions to the ICC have not succeeded in causing prosecution.
Dillon clarified that the acknowledgement “doesn’t mean that an investigation has been opened nor that it will be opened by the office of the prosecutor.”
But for Besigye, the acknowledgement is a milestone.
“The People’s Government is grateful to our legal teams; volunteers who, in spite of great intimidation, collected signatures from all parts of Uganda; and courageous Ugandans who signed to petition International Criminal Court (ICC) to have Mr Museveni and others investigated,” said Besigye.
His parallel People’s Government is yet to stop collecting more evidence.
“The People’s Government continues to get more evidence of any ‘Crimes against Humanity’ committed in Uganda. Anyone with evidence of such a crime should bring it to our offices at No 6 Katonga Rd, Kla or to our Regional or District Commissioners. You can still sign a form to join the petition.”
In the coming months, the prosecutor will determine if it will institute a probe into the commission of alleged crimes against humanity, as well as the prospect of landing incriminating evidence.