Uganda


    ICC should give victims free choice of lawyers, says Human Rights Watch
    28.08.17
    Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

    In a new report, Human Rights Watch argues that victims should have free choice of lawyer to represent them at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The report, published on August 29, is entitled "Who will stand for us? Victims' legal representatives at the ICC in the Ongwen case and beyond".  “Over time, the court has tended to give less weight to the views of victims when it comes to decisions about who will represent them before the ICC,“ says Human Rights Watch. In its report published on August 29, the human rights organization urges the judges and Registry to harmonize together the...

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    Week in Review: justice versus peace 
    17.07.17
    Ephrem Rugiririza, JusticeInfo.Net

    As the world celebrates International Justice Day this July 17, the peace versus justice debate continues in Uganda, the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and many other countries. On the one hand is the legitimate desire for justice of victims, often scarred forever in their bodies and minds by the crimes inflicted on them. On the other hand  is the necessity for governments to rebuild torn and divided societies. JusticeInfo this week looked again at this ongoing dilemma. The most emblematic case in Africa is Uganda and the terrible Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA),...

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    Uganda’s amnesty law and the peace/justice dilemma
    10.07.17
    Pierre Hazan, JusticeInfo editorial advisor and associate professor at Neuchâtel University

    A new amnesty law for Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) fighters has been before the Ugandan parliament has since 2015. It would put an end to the existing ambiguity between the general amnesty law of 2000, which is currently in force, and Uganda’s International Crimes Chamber. But the debate has not yet been settled: is it better to amnesty the perpetrators of terrible crimes in the name of peace, or prosecute them under criminal law in the hope of advancing reconciliation? This is a deep dilemma. Since 1986, the LRA has kidnapped tens of thousands of boys and girls. It has turned them into...

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    Uganda's brutal Lord's Resistance Army: timeline
    25.04.17
    AFP

    Key dates in the history of Uganda's brutal Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which the United States and Uganda have decided to stop hunting down, saying the rebels have been neutralised. One of Africa's longest-surviving rebel groups, the LRA has terrorised parts of central Africa for 30 years, becoming notorious for mutilations, massacres, kidnappings, and the forced enrolment of children. - January 1987: a year after the takeover of Uganda by rebel leader Yoweri Museveni, voodoo priestess Alice Auma Lakwena takes up arms to topple the new regime. Her Holy Spirit Movement is defeated at the end of 1987. - 1988: Joseph Kony, presented as Lakwena's cousin, takes over the fight at the...

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    Joseph Kony: uncatchable, brutal rebel chief
    25.04.17
    AFP

    Brutal rebel commander Joseph Kony has sowed terror across four African nations for three decades, even evading capture by US and Ugandan soldiers who have now given up the chase. The former Catholic altar boy became one of Africa's most notorious rebels at the head of his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), combining religious mysticism with an astute guerilla mind and bloodthirsty ruthlessness. The US passed a law in 2010 to deploy around 100 special forces to work with regional armies in hunting down Kony but is now withdrawing while the rebel leader remains at large, though his power is much diminished. Kony's marauding insurgency claimed to be fighting to overthrow the Ugandan...

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    Offering New Insights on Memory and Memorialization for Uganda
    24.04.17
    Lino Owor Ogora

    From November 25, to December 9, 2016, I was privileged to join a select group of 25 participants who attended a two-week seminar on truth, justice and remembrance in Berlin, Germany. I was the only Ugandan in the group, and one of five Africans, a factor which I felt highlighted the significance of my presence there.   I arrived in Berlin on a chilly Thursday evening on November 24, 2016. I was eager to get my first glimpse of the city, given that it was my first visit to Germany. Prior to this, all I knew about Germany was what we had been taught in European history regarding the first and second world wars. In Uganda Berlin was especially famous for the Berlin Conference of 1884...

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    HRW: Ensure Independent Investigation into Kasese Killings in Uganda
    15.03.17
    Human Rights Watch

    (Nairobi, March 15, 2017) – Killings by Ugandan military and police during joint operations in Kasese, western Uganda on November 26-27, 2016, warrant an independent, impartial fact-finding mission with international expertise, Human Rights Watch said today. On the bloodiest day, scores of people, including children, were killed during a military assault on the palace compound of the region’s cultural institution.   Police spokespeople reported the death toll over the two days as 87, including 16 police. Human Rights Watch found the actual number to be much higher – at least 55 people,...

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    Ugandan child soldier turned "war criminal" on trial at ICC
    07.12.16
    Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

    The trial of Ugandan Dominic Ongwen, a former child soldier turned commander of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), started at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday December 6. Ongwen is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in northern Uganda between 2002 and 2005. Seated in the box for the accused, Dominique Ongwen scribbled in the pages of his notebook as a court Registry official read out one by one the 70 charges against him. As the 58th one was read out, his lawyer Krispus Ayena Odongo rested his head against the back of his seat, whilst Ongwen...

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    Kony’s killers – are child soldiers accountable when they become men?
    06.12.16
    Samuel Okiror

    The trial of Dominic Ongwen, a senior member of the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army, opens on Tuesday before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Many horrors will be recounted, but the case also throws up deep ethical questions: is a child, brutalised and turned into a killer, fully responsible for his or her actions? If the abuses of government forces aren’t also being investigated, at what point does it become victor’s justice? Abducted by the LRA at the age of 10, Ongwen became a protégé of rebel leader Joseph Kony and was forced to witness and carry out acts of extreme...

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    ICC Prosecutor puts sexual crimes at heart of Ongwen trial
    09.09.16
    Ephrem Rugiririza, JusticeInfo.Net

    Crimes of sexual violence will be a big focus in the upcoming trial of former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander Dominic Ongwen before the International Criminal Court (ICC), although they were not part of the initial case. These sexual and gender-based crimes, considered to be war crimes and/or crimes against humanity, figure large in the Prosecutor’s pre-trial brief, issued on September 6, three months before the scheduled start of trial. Forced marriage, rape, torture, beating and other abuses were the daily lot of women in the Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), especially...

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    More pressure on Lord’s Resistance Army as US targets Kony sons with sanctions
    06.09.16
    Vony Rambolamanana

    On August 23, the US Treasury Department issued a press release announcing sanctions against Ali and Salim Kony, sons of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony, who has been wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) since 2005 for serious crimes committed in northern Uganda. The LRA continues to commit serious crimes against civilians in several neighbouring African countries, but Joseph Kony has not yet been caught. The US action “freezes any of Salim or Ali Kony’s assets within U.S. jurisdiction and generally prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with...

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    Ugandan LRA Rebels Face Counterattack, Defections and Trials
    21.04.16
    Ephrem Rugiririza, JusticeInfo.Net

    Inhabitants of Rafaï in the eastern Central African Republic often spend the night in the bush to escape attacks by Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels from Uganda. But now they have had enough, and some people are starting to fight back, as they did last Sunday. A Moroccan UN peacekeeper was fatally injured in the clashes. Meanwhile, a first LRA trial is due to start on May 2 in Gulu, northern Uganda. On Sunday April 17, people in Rafaï were going about their daily lives when LRA units sprung surprise attacks on three villages at the same time. Villagers fled in panic as they do at every...

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    ICC confirms 70 charges against Ugandan LRA rebel leader
    23.03.16
    AFP

    War crimes judges Wednesday confirmed 70 charges against notorious Lord's Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen for crimes committed in Uganda, including keeping sex slaves and recruiting child soldiers. Judges at the International Criminal Court "confirmed 70 charges brought by the prosecutor against Dominic Ongwen," the Hague-based court said, paving the way to a trial on the alleged crimes. Known as the "White Ant" in his native Acholi language, Ongwen is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role from 2002 to 2005 in the rebel group's reign of terror in...

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    Uganda: Odek's Defection will Undermine LRA Morale, says Expert
    03.03.16
    Ephrem Rugiririza, JusticeInfo.Net

    Okot George Odek, a top Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel, was captured at the beginning of this month by Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic (CAR), which on February 6 handed him over to US Special Forces working alongside Ugandan troops in the CAR to hunt the LRA. This Ugandan–led rebel group is blamed for the slaughter of over 100,000 people and kidnapping of more than 60,000 children during a three-decade long campaign across five African countries. Some LRA commanders, including their top leader Joseph Kony, are wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes...

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    Ugandan Polls Criticized as Museveni Rival Harassed
    23.02.16
    Ephrem Rugiririza, JusticeInfo.Net

     Since the end of campaigning for February 18 elections that extended Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s 30-year rule, his main rival has been either under house arrest or detained by police. Dr. Kizza Besigye was arrested by police once again on Monday at his home as he  tried  to go with supporters to the Electoral Commission to get the official results for a possible legal challenge. He was eventually released on Tuesday but the police will monitor his activities. According to results published by the Electoral Commission on Saturday February 20, Museveni won 60.8 % of votes cast...

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    Justice for Victims before the ICC?
    28.01.16
    Julia Crawford, JusticeInfo.net

    The International Criminal Court (ICC), which has been working for over a decade, was hailed on its creation as having innovative provisions for victims. Its Statutes provide for victim participation and representation in trials, and for judges to order that ICC convicts pay reparations to victims. There is also a donor-funded Trust Fund for Victims managed independently of the Court that has helped fund development projects for communities affected by situations before the Court, notably in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Northern Uganda. The ICC’s first judgment was against...

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    Communities Show Resilience but LRA Leaves Lasting Trauma, says HHI Report
    20.01.16
    Jocelyn Kelly and Pauline Zerla

    In the fall of 2015, three young men escaped the Lord’s Resistance Army, a brutal rebel group that is known for the abduction and conscription of children. The three youth hiked through vast tracts of forest and remote land to the main road where they came across local hunters who brought them to Obo, a town in southeast Central African Republic (CAR).  After spending between 11 months and 3 years in the LRA, their most immediate needs were clean clothes, a warm meal and a medical check-up. But another journey for them was just beginning. It is a journey that former abductees and members of...

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    LRA Rebel Commander and Ex-Child Soldier Faces the ICC
    20.01.16
    Ephrem Rugiririza, JusticeInfo.Net

    On Thursday, Dominic Ongwen, one of the most notorious leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, will again face judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in hearings set to last until January 27. This follows his initial appearance on January 26, 2015, The “confirmation of charges” hearings before an ICC pre-trial Chamber will not go into the substance of the case but will hear the prosecution’s arguments to decide if it has sufficient evidence to refer the case to trial. The Defence will also be able to respond.  If the pre-trial Chamber decides to confirm the charges,...

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    Redress Needed for Children Born of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Northern Uganda and Their Mothers

    Children born as a result of wartime sexual violence in northern Uganda and their mothers face continued and compounded violations of their rights and dignity, says the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). Without urgent redress, they will continue on a path of marginalization, poverty, and further abuse. Violent conflict has plagued much of Uganda since its independence in 1962. The most brutal has been the armed conflict between the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony, and the Ugandan Government. The LRA has abducted an estimated 66,000 children and youth to...

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    ICC REJECTS UGANDA HEARINGS FOR FORMER REBEL COMMANDER
    29.10.15
    JusticeInfo.Net with AFP

    Once again, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has rejected the idea of holding court hearings in the country directly concerned by the crimes it is dealing with. In the case of Ugandan Dominic Ongwen, the first and only senior commander of the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the ICC’s custody, the pre-trial Chamber had recommended holding confirmation of charges hearings in Uganda, preferably in the northern town of Gulu near the scene of the main alleged crimes. But on Wednesday the ICC Presidency decided against this. The decision seems to have been based mostly on security and...

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