The Ugandan government has distanced itself from its native and International Court of Justice judge, Julia Sebutinde, who before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) landmark judgment scored South Africa’s case against Israel negatively.
Sebutinde, who is currently serving her second term on the ICJ, has been slammed for her negative rating of South Africa’s case against Israel following months of war that has seen at least 22 000 casualties, most of them children and women, losing their lives.
On Friday, the ICJ ruled that Israel must start prioritising the prevention of acts of genocide against the people of Palestine.
A majority of at least 15 out of 17 judges voted in favour of imposing provisional measures to prioritise the lives of civilians in a three-month war on Palestine.
However, the ICJ stopped shot of calling for a full ceasefire as the conflict continues.
Many believe that South Africa’s legal inquiry has yielded less than ideal results while others have commended the country for its fight for human rights following the bombardment of the Palestinian people.
Sebutinde voted against all of the measures, arguing that “the dispute between the State of Israel and the people of Palestine is essentially and historically a political one”.
The government of Uganda has said it notes the order of the ICJ. “In this regard, the government of Uganda affirms its association with the decisions and positions of the recently concluded 19th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the the Non-aligned Movement (NAM) held in Kampala on January 19-20, 2024, as contained in the Kampala Final Outcome Document, and the Political Declaration on Palestine...
“The government of Uganda further notes the opinion of Judge Julia Sebutinde on the matter.
“The government categorically clarifies that, the position taken by Judge Sebutinde is her own individual and independent opinion, as is the case with all the judges, in accordance with Article 2 of the ICJ Statute.
“Therefore, her opinion does not in any way, reflect the position of the government of the Republic of Uganda,” reads the statement from the Ugandan government.
Independent Media reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa welcomed the landmark ruling, saying it proves that South Africa had made the correct decision to take up the case.
“We firmly believe that following this judgment, there should now be a more concerted effort towards a ceasefire, and negotiations should commence on a permanent two-state solution to enable Israel and Palestine to live side-by-side as independent states,” Ramaphosa said.