African cases pile up for the ICC prosecutor

07 February 2005 by Franck Petit

Uganda and Côte d'Ivoire : the ICC prosecutor puts his cards on the table, but debate continues in the UN Security Council over Darfur.

"The prosecutor believes that the first arrest warrant that will be sent out should concern Uganda," his spokesperson told Agence France Presse on 3 February. A dozen leaders could be the subjects of investigations, already started in July 2004, into crimes committed during the civil war that has pitted Kampala against rebels from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) since 1988. In his 28 January press conference in Johannesburg, Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo announced a deadline: "The International Court hopes to start its first war crimes trial on atrocities committed in northern Uganda within six months," he said, adding that "the Congo could take a little longer," according to the independent Ugandan newspaper The Monitor. The prosecutor's announcement may come as something of a surprise. Since the Ugandan president is ambiguous about his support of the Court's intervention, the case could be seen as a political trap for the ICC.

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