Judge Julia Sebutinde, the only judge to vote against all six measures urging Israel to improve the humanitarian situation, has become the target of online ire and accusations.
The Ugandan judge’s dissenting vote in the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) ruling on the Gaza conflict has ignited a firestorm of criticism on social media.
X (formerly Twitter), known for its quick and concise format, has become a breeding ground for outrage against Sebutinde’s decision.
Tweets condemning her vote as an “embarrassment” to Uganda and Africa dominate the platform, with accusations of her being a “paid-up agent” of Israel also appearing.
The sentiment on X is overwhelmingly negative, reflecting a wave of public disapproval and questioning of Judge Sebutinde’s motives and judgement.
Ugandans, particularly on X, expressed anger at the perceived contradiction between Sebutinde’s vote and Uganda’s official stance on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Adonia Ayebare, stated that Sebutinde’s ruling “does not represent the Government of Uganda’s position on the situation in Palestine.”
Ayebare emphasised Uganda’s “support for the plight of the Palestinian people” through its voting record at the United Nations.
This move reflects Uganda’s attempt to navigate the delicate balance between supporting the Palestinian cause and maintaining diplomatic relations with Israel.
However, according to Sebutinde, South Africa didn’t demonstrate that the acts allegedly committed by Israel were committed with genocidal intent.
“In my respectful dissenting opinion, the dispute between the State of Israel and the people of Palestine is essentially and historically a political one.”
“It is not a legal dispute susceptible to judicial settlement by the Court,” she added.
Many are demanding transparency and explanations for her decision, highlighting the global interest in the ICJ’s ruling and its implications for the Gaza conflict.