RPT-UPDATE 3-Walkout over court comments mars Uganda president's inauguration

Thu May 12, 2016 5:22pm EDT
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(Repeats, without change, to additional clients)

* Museveni sworn in, extending rule to 35 years

* Comments on ICC prompt walkout by Western officials

* Social media sites blocked before oath ceremony

KAMPALA, May 12 (Reuters) - Uganda's veteran president vowed to fight corruption and inefficient bureaucracy on Thursday as he was sworn in to a fifth term in office, but some Western officials walked out of the ceremony when he mocked the International Criminal Court.

In his inaugural address, President Yoweri Museveni, 71, told heads of state, diplomats and other guests he planned to fight corruption and impose discipline on inefficient bureaucrats during his next five-year term of office, which will extend his rule to 35 years.

But Museveni offended U.S., European Union and Canadian officials in attendance when he criticized the International Criminal Court in his welcoming remarks as "a bunch of useless people."

Among guests at the inauguration was Sudan's President Omar Hassan al Bashir, who attended despite international warrants from the ICC seeking his arrest for crimes against humanity.

"In response to President Bashir's presence and President Museveni's remarks, the United States delegation, along with representatives of the European Union countries and Canada, departed the inauguration ceremonies to demonstrate our objection," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told a briefing in Washington.   Continued...