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Uganda Disowns Justice Sebutinde’s Pro-Israel Vote at ICJ, Reaffirms Support for Palestinian Cause



Justice Julia Sebutinde

In a surprising turn of events at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Anonia Ayebare, disavowed the vote of Ugandan Judge Julia Sebutinde, who sided with Israel in a crucial decision despite the court’s ruling calling on Israel to halt it’s actions against Palestine.

In a statement issued after the ICJ’s decision, Ambassador Ayebare clarified that Judge Sebutinde’s vote in favor of Israel did not reflect the official stance of the Ugandan government on the situation in Palestine. The ICJ had earlier ruled, with a majority of 15 of 2, that Israel must take immediate measures to prevent its armed forces from violating the Genocide Convention. The court also emphasized the need for Israel to combat incitement to genocide and increase the flow of aid to Gaza to address the adverse conditions of life.

Ambassador Adonia Ayebare

Ambassador Ayebare highlighted that Uganda’s support for the Palestinian cause has been consistently expressed through its voting patterns at the United Nations. The Ugandan representative pointed out that Judge Sebutinde had previously voted against Uganda’s interests in the case concerning the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This recent divergence in the judge’s voting behavior raised eyebrows and prompted the swift disavowal from the Ugandan government.

Ambassador Adonia’s statement came following backlash against Sebutinde on social media with many bashing her as they singled out her country of origin

The ICJ’s decision, despite Judge Sebutinde’s vote, is being hailed as a major victory for South Africa, setting a legal precedent for future conflicts. The court’s order for Israel to take immediate steps to limit Palestinian deaths in its assault on Gaza has garnered widespread attention and sparked discussions on international law and accountability in armed conflicts.

The disavowal by Uganda emphasizes the complexity of international relations and the diversity of perspectives within the United Nations. The aftermath of this ICJ ruling is likely to provoke further debates on the role of individual judges and their allegiances within international legal institutions.