NPWJ urges Uganda to stand up for justice and not grant impunity to President al-Bashir

12 May, 2016 | Press Releases

Brussels-Rome, 12 May 2016

President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan reportedly travelled this morning to Kampala as part of a two-day visit to Uganda to discuss bilateral ties and to attend the inauguration ceremony of Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni. President al-Bashir is the subject of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the civilian population in Darfur. As a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Uganda is obliged to arrest any person against whom the Court has issued an arrest warrant.

Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) call upon the Government of Uganda to fulfil its obligations as a State Party of the ICC and arrest President al-Bashir while he remains on Ugandan territory.

“Instead of knowingly and willingly harbouring a head of State who is on the run from international arrest warrants for grave human rights violations, Uganda should demonstrate its commitment to justice and accountability. Not only is Uganda a State Party to the ICC, Uganda has benefitted from its work through the indictment of members of the Lord’s Resistance Army and the arrest and transfer of Dominic Ongwen to face trial for the crimes committed in Northern Uganda. It is ironic – even shameful – that Uganda should on the one hand call for the arrest of the remaining LRA fugitives while extending the other hand to welcome President Al-Bashir. Certainly, it is in President Al-Bashir’s interests to expand the range of countries where he is seen to be able to travel with impunity; it does not seem to be in Uganda’s interest to be considered a safe haven for war criminals.

“Twelve years after the start of the conflict in Darfur which caused hundreds of thousands of victims and some 2.5 million people displaced, Darfur’s civilian population is still being targeted by government forces and widespread and systematic violations of international human rights and humanitarian law continue unabated. We urge Uganda to stand up for the rights of the people of Sudan and Darfur to justice and reparations by removing from the equation one of the actors who has been most responsible for the decades of violence and instability it has endured.”

For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-3915.