The Observer (Kampala)

19 January 2014

Uganda: Sejusa Must Face ICC - MP Mulongo

Long accused by his harshest critics of treason, now others want exiled Gen David Sejusa tried at The Hague-based International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

In a recent interview, Bubulo East MP Simon Mulongo said there were plans to refer former intelligence services coordinator, Gen Sejusa, to the ICC. Mulongo says Sejusa must answer questions regarding his handling of the NRA offensive against the rebel Lord's Resistance Army in the 1990s in northern Uganda.

"Gen Sejusa has his own history, which has serious questions; his operations in the north are known, and there are documented crimes against him, some of which border on international crimes and even locally here," Mulongo said.

Sejusa commanded the operations in the north when government was flashing out Joseph Kony's LRA fighters in the 1990s. Pressed to clarify, Mulongo declined to say more.

"Well, I wouldn't want to mention them for now because some of this information came my way during my privileged status," he said.

He was also non-committal when asked whether this was the official position of the state to prefer charges against Sejusa before the ICC.

"I will leave it to those who can make decisions to take on that ... what I know is that there are crimes which he committed, which came to the attention of his superiors [Museveni] and which can be brought into play at an appropriate time."

On Sejusa's recent claims that he was a captive of a 'bad system,' Mulongo dismissed this, insisting that Sejusa should be ready to carry his own cross when the time comes.

"In law and in international [law] particularly, and war-related conflicts, it is very clear. Yes, you can take the entire establishment on, but you also have to target the individual commanders for the actions they took that are extreme," he explained.

"Given that he was the one overseeing and the overall commander of the operations in the north, if there are decisions he took based on the instructions [from Museveni], he would have said so, but if he claims so, he must adduce evidence either by way of radio communication or by way of other form of instructions, which must be adduced to a formal hearing body or a court of judicature," he added.

He said Sejusa takes personal responsibility for his actions.

"So, if he committed crimes as an officer in charge, then he becomes the key suspect, and respondent and he becomes the focus of legal action, because if he acted on his own, then that becomes his own fate."

While launching his political pressure organization in London last month, Gen Sejusa said: "We have all fallen short of the glory of God. We must start afresh. What people don't understand is that when serving under a bad system, you become its biggest victim."

In reference to atrocities in northern Uganda, he added:

"They do not realize that some of us, for instance me; I have lived a life more at risk more than maybe people who have been in exile. I have not been sitting down. I tried to remove this system many times. I have scars on my body, bullets, inflicted by my own side. People don't understand," he explained.

Asked to assess the reported working relationship between Dr Kizza Besigye and Sejusa in a bid to oust President Museveni from power, Mulongo argued that the two were not a threat to the state.

"I don't think that Gen Sejusa has political credibility and clout to come up together with Col Besigye to make a difference. He [has] not been as popular [since] he fell-out with the system," Mulongo argued.

He added that Dr Besigye's party FDC was weakening due to the unending political squabbles.

"Politically, in my view, FDC will never rise beyond where it is for the time being because they suffer from perennial and chronic internal disorganization, they have a syndrome of teamwork deficiency and, to me, it is just surviving by luck in a manner they are now and it is much weaker than ever before."

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