Museveni takes Bashir out on a 'date' at his farm even as EU protests

The Sudanese President Omar-al-Bashir is in Uganda for a two day state visit at the invitation of Museveni

Omar-al-Bashir who is in Uganda for a two day state visit held a “private” discussions with Museveni at his Kisozi farm in Gomba District.

Museveni was seen chauffeuring Bashir around his farm before stopping to admire his impressive herd of Ankole cows and pose for photos.

During the Kisozi meeting, Ms Linda Nabusayi, the President’s press secretary, said on her Twitter, that the duo also discussed the River Nile cooperation, including industrialisation and electrification as one of the ways to save the river.

The Ugandan President expressed delight at the Sudanese head of state honoring his invitation and said the visit would go a long way in strengthening bilateral relations in the area of trade, foreign affairs and regional security between the two countries.

This is despite, Uganda being a signatory to the Rome Statute which requires it to arrest Bashir and hand him over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) where he is facing two counts of crimes against humanity and genocide of more than 300,000 deaths in Sudan’s Darfur region.

The European Union (EU) has already issued a statement terming the Museveni's decision to host al-Bashir as “regrettable”.

In a statement issued from Brussels, EU’S foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini said that Uganda should “respect its obligations under international law and as a State Party to the ICC.”

This is not the first time however African countries who are signatories of the Rome Statute have defied ICC and hosted and dined with the Sudanese President.

In 2015, South African President Jacob Zuma hosted Bashir and even assured him that he would not be arrested.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Mr Patrick Mugoya, said that the government will “explain itself appropriately” for its actions through diplomatic channels.

“It is true we are a member of the Rome Statute but at the same time we are interested in peace and stability in the region,” Mr Mugoya noted.

“The issue of peace and stability takes precedence over anything, and president Bashir is a key player.” He added.

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