MAY 30, 2010: Rome Statute Review Summit Opens Today

Rome Statute Review Summit Opens Today
SOURCE: The New Vision
By Cyprian Musoke And James Bakama

Kampala — President Yoweri Museveni has warned perpetrators of war that they will be brought to book for committing crimes against humanity.

Addressing spectators at a football match at Mandela national stadium at Namboole to show solidarity with war victims yesterday, Museveni said impunity would no longer be tolerated.

The match is a precursor to the ICC review conference that opens at Speke Resort Munyonyo today.

"We are here to show solidarity with all people who have been killed by Lord's Resistance Army rebels in northern Uganda. All impunity must be penalised.

"They are all here to collectively show solidarity with all war victims in the whole world.

"Football has brought world leaders and victims here for this noble cause, indicating that impunity should no longer be tolerated. With mechanisms for justice now in place, it (impunity) shall be followed to the end," he said.

Last week, the President assented to the ICC Act that domesticates the Rome Statute, enabling prosecution of perpetrators of war crimes in Uganda.

The Judiciary has also established a War Crimes Division to prosecute war crime suspects.

Museveni was a substitute at the evening match in Kampala where his team drew 3-3 with another led by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.

Museveni's team was trailing 3-2 by the time the two principals joined their respective teams at a match watched by politicians, ICC dignitaries and delegates to the conference.

The conference that has attracted more than 200 delegates from different countries, will review the progress of the ICC Rome Statute that was established to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The match was organised by the Uganda War Victims Foundation and African Youth Initiative Network with support from the No Peace without Justice.

It featured victims from the war in Uganda and Darfur in Sudan and dignitaries and delegates to the conference.

Organisers said the game was aimed at ensuring that the war victims interact with delegates at the ICC review conference, and to show that everyone is equal.

In his speech, Ki-Moon said it was an honour to play football with Museveni, adding that despite playing on different sides, Uganda has very strong links with the UN.

Uganda, he noted, is one of the strongest supporters of the ICC in fighting impunity. "As we harmoniously played together and tied, we should in the same spirit live in mutual respect while protecting human rights for all," he said.

The guests were entertained by local musicians Jose Chameleone and Ragga Dee.

The Uganda War Veterans Association asked that the UN assembly sets May 30 as an international day for war victims.