Hi, I’m Philip in Uganda. I want to talk to you about the International Criminal Court, and if we Ugandans are finding a better way of delivering justice.
The top leadership of Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army was indicted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed to the people of Northern Uganda and southern Sudan. But now we hear from our President that they will not be tried by the ICC but in Uganda.
The ICC issued arrest warrants for five of the top LRA commanders (three of which have been killed so far). Since 2006, the Government of Uganda and the LRA have been involved in peace talks brokered by the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) and supported internationally. Over this period, the majority of the five key issues have been resolved and the only block towards the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is the issue of the ICC arrest warrants.
My feelings are that the statement of the President opens a way towards a long lasting peace in the entire country and also development because most of the resources over the 20 years have been channelled towards fighting the War. I also believe that the best option should be the Local trials because I believe the traditional court systems do not promote impunity (like some people have suggested especially Western countries), for instance, the Gachacha in Rwanda.
My belief is that the proposed trial in The Hague will encourage more disunity amongst Ugandans (especially the Northerners and the Westerners). Do you agree with me? Or should the ICC still be the place these people are tried? Are we Ugandans risking it becoming an undermined institution?
Thanks and I hope to hear from you.