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Tuesday,October 20,2020 16:16 PM

Let the ICC pursue LRA leaders

By Vision Reporter

Added 15th October 2008 03:00 AM

Godfrey Okot

Aruu County MP Odonga Otoo recently wrote that the International Criminal Court (ICC), in its pursuit of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), is behaving as if it is more aggrieved than the people of northern Uganda.

Godfrey Okot

Aruu County MP Odonga Otoo recently wrote that the International Criminal Court (ICC), in its pursuit of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), is behaving as if it is more aggrieved than the people of northern Uganda.

Godfrey Okot

Aruu County MP Odonga Otoo recently wrote that the International Criminal Court (ICC), in its pursuit of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), is behaving as if it is more aggrieved than the people of northern Uganda.

We should not blame the ICC for pursuing the LRA case because this is an issue of global significance. It concerns war crimes and crimes against humanity where millions of people have been victims of atrocities at the hands of the seemingly sane individuals.

The ICC is the rightful institution mandated by over 160 states who are signatories to the Rome Statute of 1998 to try war crimes and crime against humanity. Uganda is a state party to the Rome Statute and is bound to ensure that victims of war crimes get justice.

If in the short term the people of northern Uganda, my home village, continue to suffer because of the ICC indictments, that is the price they may have to pay so that in the long-run justice prevails and victims of the LRA crimes enjoy perpetual peace.

Ugandans who are advocating withdrawal of charges against the LRA leaders for the sake of peace are not putting the interests of the victims and the world at the forefront. Withdrawal of this case would threaten world peace, stability in northern Uganda, global security and set a bad precedence.

The ICC is not grieving more than the bereaved. It was Ugandans who sought the indictments and they cannot go back to request the world body to withdraw the case without just cause. The relative peace we have enjoyed in northern Uganda since 2006 is probably because of the ICC indictments.

Whereas the cooperation of Uganda is required for the pursuance of this case to its conclusion, the ICC has legal mandate to continue exercising its functions and fulfilling its purposes within the provisions of the Rome Statute and other international laws — even without Uganda’s cooperation. If Ugandans feel the indictments should be reviewed, it should be a lesson that in future before we rush to the international scene for help, adequate consultations should first be done at home.

The writer is a Commonwealth Scholar, Master of Law, International Human Rights Law, Hull University, England, UK

Let the ICC pursue LRA leaders

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