Beyond Ituri: the other side of the Ugandan case

27 March 2006 by BENJAMIN BIBAS and EMMANUEL CHICON

The transfer of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, head of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) to The Hague on March 17 stirred up questions about the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigations into the support given to the Congolese militia in Ituri (Democratic Republic of Congo). Thus far, the ICC has targeted only the leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group and not a single officer of the Ugandan army in its investigations into Uganda. However, the court may be setting its sights on several high-ranking Ugandan officers in the Ituri case.

For the time being, the ICC is not interfering with political agendas.Whilst the legislative and presidential elections in the DCR are scheduled for June and August, the ICC made its first arrest the day after the Ugandan electoral commission announced President’s Yoweri Museveni’s re-election. In July 2004, Museveni had sent a confidential letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan informing him of “the need for provisional immunity in order to achieve peace first” in Ituri, and urging Annan “to suspend the activities on the inter-national criminal court until the peace process in Ituri and DRC in general is irreversible.” Political scientist Alphonse Maindo thinks otherwise. “If the ICC wants to be credible in Ituri, it cannot cut corners with the investigation into Ugandan, and to a lesser degree, Rwandan, military leaders involved in the conflict.”

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

article
19 February 2007 by Laetitia Grotti

One year ago on January 6, 2006, the 17 members of Morocco's Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER) were closing up shop after submitting their final report to King Mohammed VI. The Moroccan truth commission had received a flood of compliments from the international community praising the recommendations in its report, especially those advocating legislative and constitutional reforms. One year later, however, the results have been rather mixed.

article
11 September 2006 by our correspondent in Arusha

After having tried high-ranking officers, ministers, businessmen, priests, journalists, local officials and militiamen, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is in uncharted waters. On September 11, the most famous rwandese troubadour of his generation will stand trial for genocide. 

article
23 October 2006 by Christine Chaumeau

China is keeping a polite distance from international criminal justice. Beijing is hardly disinterested, but China does want to make sure that these new global mechanisms are not going to infringe upon its sovereignty by delving into particularly sensitive cases such as Tibet. 

article
United Nations Operation in Burundi disarms rebel forces in Mbanda in February 2005 (Photo: Flickr/UN Photo/Martine Perret)
03 June 2015 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Over the last month, Burundi has hit the headlines as the president put himself forward to be elected for a controversial third term, resulting in street protests, thousands of refugees who fled instability and an attempted coup. Behind the issues of elections and constitutionalism are also those of justice following Burundi’s long-running civil war. The international community supported an intensive process of negotiation and the signing of the Arusha Accord in 2000. But in the decade and a half since, its provisions on justice have been debated though never fully implemented.

article
06 November 2006 by Pierre Hazan

France's attitude towards international criminal justice is marked by ambiguity. Paris subscribes to a vision of the world in which international humanitarian law is considered a way to curb violence against civilian populations, but at the same time it is wary of an unchecked judicial system that could end up prosecuting French soldiers engaged in areas where it has old and deep-rooted interests.