TRC rather than ICC for Uganda?

15 December 2010 by Leiuh Asuman Wakida and Priscilla Nadunga

Almost seven years after Uganda gave the names of the top Lord’s Resistance Army commanders to the International Criminal Court, the country remains divided as to which path should be taken towards justice. Some Ugandan public figures are again calling for the formation of a truth and reconciliation body.

“What I prefer is a truth and reconciliation commission, like that in South Africa, to allow us to decide who did what during the conflict,” says Norbert Mao, chairman of the Democratic Party. “The truth and reconciliation commission approach to address human rights abuses during the Northern war conflict will allow Ugandans to tell the truth and be addressed accordingly.”

In January 2004, the Ugandan government reported the top five LRA commanders to the ICC over human rights abuses committed by the rebels during the two decade long conflict that has left thousands dead and millions homeless.

The ICC issued warrants in 2005 for chief commander Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Raska Lukwiya, Oket Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen. Otti died in 2007, while the other four are still at large. They are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, and enlisting child soldiers.

The LRA was ejected from northern Uganda in 2005, and has since roamed the remote jungle straddling the borders of Sudan, DR Congo and the Central African Republic.

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