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Uganda disowns ICJ judge who voted in favour of Israel in genocide case

January 28, 2024 at 9:14 am

Julia Sebutinde [Youtube]

Uganda has disregarded the Ugandan judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) who voted against all of the emergency measures against Israel in regard to its ongoing war on the Gaza Strip.

Following South Africa’s filing of its case with the ICJ last month, in which it accused Israel of committing genocide against the Palestinian people and in Gaza, the court stopped short of recognising the genocide but ruled that Tel Aviv must ensure no genocide is committed.

The ruling gave Israel six provisional measures ordering it to protect Palestinians, such as punishing and preventing acts of genocide and allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza. It refrained from ordering an immediate ceasefire in the besieged territory, however, rejecting the South African case’s urge to implement one.

READ: Non-Aligned Movement states slam Israeli aggression, call for cease-fire in Gaza

One of the 17 judges in the ICJ panel was Ugandan judge Julia Sebutinde, who voted against all of the emergency measures, outdoing even the Israeli judge who voted in favour of two of them. Sebutinde justified her votes by claiming that South Africa failed to show that the acts committed by Israel were done “with the necessary genocidal intent and that as a result, they are capable of falling within the scope of the Genocide Convention”.

In a post on X, Uganda’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, Adonia Ayebare, stated that “Justice Sebutinde’s ruling at the International Court of Justice does not represent the Government of Uganda’s position on the situation in Palestine.”

He clarified that “She has previously voted against Uganda’s case on DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo]. Uganda’s support for the plight of the Palestinian people has been expressed through Uganda ‘s voting pattern at the United Nations.”

Although Uganda generally has close ties with Israel and hosts a number of Israeli companies on its soil, the country is a member state of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which last week condemned Israel’s war on Gaza.

Responding to one user’s criticism of Kampala’s ties with Tel Aviv and the Ugandan government’s utilisation of Israeli surveillance technology, Ayebare insisted that “Uganda’s principled position on Palestine is solid”.