Photo Credit: Courtesy of the International Court of Justice
Ugandan ICJ judge Julia Sebutinde.

A Ugandan government official disowned International Court of Justice Judge Julia Sebutinde who voted in favor of Israel on every single false and bizarre charge that was submitted by the South African government, as well as against all the emergency measures the court imposed on Israel to protect the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.

“Uganda’s Julia Sebutinde is one of the two judges who voted mostly against the six emergency measures in response to South Africa’s genocide case against Israel, leaving many observers around the world dazed and confused,” Uganda’s Daily Monitor reported on Sunday.


Adonia Ayebare, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Uganda to the United Nations, tweeted last Friday, “Justice Sebutinde’s ruling at the International Court of Justice does not represent the Government of Uganda’s position on the situation in Palestine. 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.”

Uganda, a participant in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), recently denounced Israel’s military campaign in Gaza at a NAM summit that was hosted by Uganda. However, Uganda has maintained positive relations with Israel since the ascent of current president Yoweri Museveni in 1986, fostering cooperation with Israeli companies operating within the country.

In 2016, an Israeli company was chosen to make a national master plan for the development of Uganda, on the basis of the Israeli National Outline Plan system. President Museveni visited Israel in 2003 and 2011.

Ayebare’s tweet is especially funny, since Judge Sebutinde’s main reason for opposing South Africa’s accusations was that they were political, rather than legal. The ambassador’s angry comment confirmed exactly this point: how dare does this Ugandan judge not follow her government’s policies?

In her opposing viewpoint, Sebutinde contended that South Africa failed to demonstrate that the actions purportedly carried out by Israel were executed “with the requisite genocidal intent,” thus rendering them incapable of falling under the purview of the Genocide Convention.


Even the Israeli Judge, former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak, voted yes on two ICJ decisions: Israel’s duty to investigate the calls for genocide in Gaza, and Israel’s duty to bring humanitarian aid into Gaza. It didn’t even occur to the exulted judge that speech about what should be done with the Hamas murderers and their non-combatant collaborators was not the same as carrying out genocide.

Barak appears to have also missed the point that the ICJ targeted for their alleged examples of incitement to genocide, none other than Israeli president Isaac Herzog (of all people), Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz.

I’ve noted many times in the past that Israeli lawmakers and judges alike couldn’t recognize free speech if it held their faces with both hands and screamed into their ears.

Tweeter user Amwoga Khalwale posted: “Judge Julia Sebutinde from Uganda voted against all the provisional measures South Africa sought against Israel. She is a disgrace to Africa and Africans. She’s humiliated Africans before the whole world. She’s betrayed the conscience of Africa on the Palestinian question.”

But user Ozzaenne Issakwisa responded: “Her vote at the International Court of Justice, like her colleagues, is based on her view of international law, not on personal, religious, or geographical affiliations.”

Good for you, Ozzaenne.

And user Bikundo commented: “How are Africans and Palestinians related? She is a heroine. Hamas are terrorists and only terrorists can side with terrorists.”

Works for me.

Julia Sebutinde, 70, is the first African woman to serve on the ICJ. She is also the current chancellor of Muteesa Royal University.


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