The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Ms Fatou Bensouda, has confirmed that her office indeed received a petition, requesting for investigations into the infamous Kasese killings.
Ms Bensouda revealed that the “situation desk” at the Hague-based court, has since taken over the Kasese complaint and that it is being investigated.
“ I cannot give details now but it is being reviewed under the situation desk.” Ms Bensouda said on Thursday while meeting a Ugandan delegation that was witnessing the Dominic Ongwen defence hearing in The Hague.
In December 2016, a combined government security personnel, attacked the palace of the Rwenzururu king, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere, while looking for wrong characters suspected to have taken refuge there.
More than 100 civilians were killed during the assault and scores left injured, with the king currently facing terrorism prosecution.
Ms Bensouda committed that once the Kasese investigations are done, her office will communicate the findings to the concerned petitioners.
In December 2016, a group of Members of Parliament from the Rwenzori sub-region, petitioned the ICC to investigate the Kasese killings.
The petition was against President Museveni in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Maj Gen Peter Elwelu who commanded the attack on the palace and Assistant Inspector General of Police Asuman Mugenyi.
“Brig Elwelu kept on saying, he was acting on the orders of the commander-in-chief who is President Museveni, and Deputy Inspector General of Police Mugenyi, who physically commanded the bloody operation,” Ms Winnie Kiiza, the former Leader of Opposition in Parliament and a petitioner, told the media then.
According to the petition, the people who died in the attack include royal guards, women, children, visitors and domestic workers at the palace.
Other Members of Parliament who are part of the petitioners are Robert Centenary (Kasese Municipality), Nzoghu William (Busongora East), Katusabe Atkins (Busongora West) and Niwagaba Wilfred among others.
In a related development, Ms Bensouda criticised member states that subscribe to the Rome Statute but are not honouring their commitment to arrest Sudanese president, Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, who is wanted by the court over the alleged Darfur atrocities.
“Bashir is lately becoming bold and more bold as he is visiting many member state countries. However, ICC was created not to arrest suspects but to do the judicial work,” she said.
Bashir has since his indictment come to Uganda, one of the state parties to the Rome Statute twice without being arrested and hand over to the court for prosecution.