A Ugandan judge has been elected to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, The Netherlands.
The Assembly of State Parties sitting in New York on Tuesday elected Justice Solome Bossa, a judge of Uganda’s Court of Appeal, after four rounds of voting.
Ambassador Adonia Ayebare, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said they worked hard to ensure she is elected.
The ICC was created by the 2002 Rome Statute to try cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Africa, Mr Ayebare said, presented four candidates that “almost derailed Justice Bossa’s chances” for the six slots that were up for grabs.
Other judges who were elected were from Benin, Japan and Peru.
Justice Bossa’s election, according to Mr Ayebare, is important since the ICC is the world’s permanent court to adjudicate cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“This victory is a vote of confidence in Uganda’s judiciary and diplomacy at the United Nations,” he said.
Uganda nominated Justice Bossa, whose judicial and legal work spans almost three decades, for being a “highly accomplished judge… at the national, regional and international level,” according to information on the Judiciary website.
“She has considerable exposure and experience in international judicial practice, international human rights, international humanitarian law, international criminal law and constitutional law.”
Justice Bossa had also applied for Uganda’s deputy chief justice post but missed the interviews in Kampala because she was out of the country campaigning to be a judge of ICC.
She joins Justice Julia Sebutinde, elected as a judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a tight 2011 race, to represent Uganda at two key international courts.
Mr Ayebare coordinated Justice Sebutinde’s 2011 election as he has done for Justice Bossa on Tuesday.
Observers will be keenly watching the performance of Justice Bossa at The Hague considering that President Yoweri Museveni initially expressed reservations over ICC mandate and conduct.
However, he changed tune when ICC came looking for LRA leader Joseph Kony and other war criminals in Uganda.