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Uganda: Media Statement by the ICC; NGO Media Statements and Related News
09 June 2010
Please find below information about recent developments related to the International Criminal Court's investigation in Uganda.
This message includes a press statement made by ICC Press Office (I), NGO Media statements (II) and related news (III).
Please take note of the Coalition's policy on situations before the ICC (below), which explicitly states that the CICC will not take a position on potential and current situations before the Court or situations under analysis. The Coalition, however, will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC.
I. ICC DOCUMENTS
Please note that this document has been produced by the ICC. The Coalition for the ICC distributes it as part of its mandate to inform member organizations and individuals about ICC-related developments. The document does not reflect the views of the CICC as a whole or its individual members.
i. "The ICC President interacts with affected communities in northern Uganda", ICC Media Release, 31 May 2010, http://www.icc-cpi.int/menus/icc/press and media/press releases/the icc president interacts with affected communities in northern uganda
"On 29 and 30 May 2010, the President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, paid a two-day visit to Gulu district in the Acholi sub-region (north Uganda) to interact with various groups of affected communities and listen to their views and concerns in relation to the mandate and operations of the Court.
In the course of his various meetings, the President responded to questions raised by the audience regarding the outstanding arrest warrants for members of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), state cooperation and reparations for victims, as well as on the role of the ICC in Africa and the importance of justice for peace.
The President emphasised that the establishment of the ICC has been a crucial step in the fight against impunity, and that serious crimes of concern to the international community must be addressed through adequate justice mechanisms. 'Many nations around the world agreed in 1998 to create the ICC in order to help punish those who commit the worst of crimes [...], and by punishing those most responsible for committing these crimes, fewer crimes would be committed. In this way, justice can support sustainable peace', said the ICC President.
On the first day of his visit, President Song met with the local authorities of Gulu district, including the Resident District Commissioner and the Chairman of the Local Council Five. He then participated in an outreach meeting at the town hall attended by over 350 people, including victims' groups, representatives of civic organisations and community leaders. The President also visited a Trust Fund for Victims sponsored project implemented by AVSI. This project, offering psychosocial services and assisting in capacity building in northern Uganda, aims also at improving access and quality of medical rehabilitation to disabled and disfigured victims of war through provision of prosthetics, orthotics and reconstructive plastic surgery.
Before concluding his visit, President Song participated in an outreach meeting at the Lukodi camp, attended by more than 670 internally displaced persons from the surrounding villages. Participants included women and young people, representatives of community-based organisations and of unions of people with disabilities, teachers, religious and local leaders, media representatives and students.
The President had come to Uganda to take part in the Review Conference of the Rome Statute, to be held in Kampala from 31 May to 11 June 2010. This conference is a significant milestone for the International Criminal Court, as it will be the first opportunity for the States Parties to the Rome Statute to make amendments to the Statute since its entry into force on 1 July 2002. Additionally, the Review Conference will be an occasion for a "stocktaking" of international justice."
II. NGO MEDIA STATEMENTS
i. "US: President Obama Should Act to End Lord's Resistance Army Violence in Central Africa", by Human Rights Watch (Re printed by Ethiopian Review), 25 May 2010, http://www.ethiopianreview.com/news/123682
"President Barack Obama should move swiftly to implement landmark legislation he signed today committing the US to help civilians in central Africa threatened by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a coalition of 49 human rights, humanitarian, and faith-based groups said today. The rebel group has carried out one of the world's longest-running and most brutal insurgencies.
.... 'For years civilians in central Africa have suffered immensely from LRA violence,' said Anneke Van Woudenberg, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. 'This legislation gives President Obama a clear mandate to work with international and national partners to apprehend indicted LRA commanders as part of a comprehensive strategy to permanently stop LRA atrocities.'
.... LRA violence has plagued central Africa for more than two decades. In northern Uganda, thousands of civilians were killed and nearly two million displaced by the conflict between the rebels and the Ugandan government. In July 2005, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for the senior leaders of the LRA for crimes they committed in northern Uganda, but the suspects remain at large. Though the rebel group ended attacks in northern Uganda in 2006, it then moved its bases to the northern Democratic Republic of Congo and has since committed acts of violence against civilians in Congo, Sudan, and the Central African Republic. Kony and his top commanders sustain their ranks by abducting civilians, including children, to use as soldiers and sexual slaves."
i. "Peace Talks with the Lord's Resistance Army Are Unrealistic, For Now", by John Norris, Executive Director of Enough (Huffington Post), 21 May 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-norris/peace-talks-with-the-lord_b_580157.html
ii. "President Obama signs US law to help Uganda fight LRA rebels, Sudan Tribune, 25 May 2010, http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article35196
iii. "Obama endorses anti-Kony legislation", New Vision, 25 May 2010, http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/12/720730
iv. "Obama commits US to helping hunt for LRA leader Joseph Kony", CS Monitor, 25 May 2010, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2010/0525/Obama-commits-US-to-helping-hunt-for-LRA-leader-Joseph-Kony
v. "Obama signs new law on LRA rebels", Daily Monitor, 26 May 2010, http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/925830/-/x07kbq/-/
vi. "UN relief chief welcomes US move against Ugandan rebel group", UN News, 26 May 2010, http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=34814&Cr=LRA&Cr1
III. RELATED NEWS
i. "Gulu War Victims Demand Immediate Arrest of LRA Commanders", Daily Monitor, 26 May 2010, http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/926102/-/x08434/-/
"Victims of the Lords Resistance Army rebellion in Gulu District have asked the International Criminal Court to pursue the top commanders of the group and prosecute them.
The survivors of LRA atrocities are concerned that despite indicting the top rebel commanders the ICC has failed to arrest them.
In 2005, the ICC indicted Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen, all top LRA commanders. The suspects are wanted to answer war crimes and crimes against humanity...."
ii. "ICC president meets Kony war victims", New Vision, 30 May 2010, http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/16/721212
"...Justice Song is in the country for the ICC Review Conference, which opens in Kampala today.
Responding to advice by the people of northern Uganda that the ICC indictment against the top LRA commanders be dropped for the sake of peace, Song stressed that the LRA case would remain admissible to ICC.
Four top LRA commanders, including Joseph Kony, are wanted by the ICC for allegedly committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during the two-decade war.
Song added: 'Peace without justice is fragile. You can take the horse to the well but you cannot force the horse to drink water. You can have all the parties sign the peace deal but justice must prevail in the continued absence of a negotiated solution...."
iii. "Ocampo's plan to hunt Kony", Daily Monitor, 30 May 2010, http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/928750/-/x09mjk/-/
"The Lord Resistance Army led by the elusive Joseph Kony should be pursued by Special Forces and not the regular army, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Loius Moreno-Ocampo has said.
Speaking in an interview on Saturday in Kampala, Mr Ocampo said in order to bring the LRA leader to justice a combination of Special Forces is needed to flash him out of the remote hiding places in DR Congo.
'Joseph Kony has no army. So the only way to capture him is by using a special force,' Mr Ocampo said, adding, 'He is the only person we want most. I really would like to put him on trial because I would want to know why he killed and abducted children.'
Mr Ocampo also objected to the notion that the indictment of Kony by the ICC explains why the LRA did not sign the Juba peace pact, arguing that the peace in northern Uganda is partly because of the arrest warrants which were issued by the ICC...."
iv. "UN chief: arrest Ugandan rebel wanted by ICC", Associated Press (via Google), 31 May 2010, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g9rX2Hpft3ta_fl74X6OoncuuKrwD9G1QJ9G2
"U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon is calling for African nations to cooperate with the International Criminal Court by arresting a fugitive Ugandan rebel leader.
The ICC seeks the arrest of Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and some of his commanders on charges of murder, rape, mutilation and forced enlistment of children...."
See also: "UN chief Ban Ki-moon praises International Criminal Court, pushes for arrest of Ugandan rebel", by unknown author (AP/Canada East), 31 May 2010, http://www.canadaeast.com/rss/article/1074477
v. "Ocampo calls for quick arrest of Ugandan rebel leader", DPA, 31 May 2010, http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/326466,extra-ocampo-calls-for-quick-arrest-of-ugandan-rebel-leader.html
"The International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Monday urged East and Central African governments to help arrest the leader of Uganda's notorious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).
Joseph Kony's LRA displaced nearly two million people and left thousands dead or wounded during a decades-long rebellion in Uganda. He is still avoiding the ICC arrest warrant in the jungles of north-east Congo. Speaking at the opening of a conference reviewing the ICC's operation in Kampala, Moreno-Ocampo said it was time to act.... "
vi. "No selective justice for northern Uganda war crimes: ICC official", Xinhua, 31 May 2010, http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90855/7005459.html
"The International Criminal Court (ICC) will indict more individuals who committed war crimes against the civilian population in northern Uganda during the two decade insurgency of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a top court official has said.
'There will be no selective justice for trials into war crimes committed in northern Uganda,' said Sang-Hyun Song, the ICC President who made the remarks at a consultative dialogue meeting with LRA war victims in Gulu, northern Uganda, on Saturday.
The remark follows concern by war victims that the ICC has tended to be one-sided in indicting rebel commanders yet government soldiers committed as well similar crimes in northern Uganda...."
vii. "Museveni wants to pay Kony victims", New Vision, 31 May 2010, http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/12/721366
"President Yoweri Museveni has said the Lord's Resistance Army victims in northern Uganda should be compensated without waiting for the trial of the perpetrators.
'I entirely agree with Prosecutor Ocampo. The LRA victims don't need to wait for the trial to be assisted,' he said. Museveni was speaking at the opening of the ICC review conference at the Speke Resort Munyonyo.
The ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, had earlier called for urgent assistance and compensation for the millions of LRA victims...."
viii. "LRA victims should be compensated - Ocampo", Daily Monitor, 1 June 2010, http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/929644/-/x0ab2i/-/
Millions of people who have suffered under the brutal hands of Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army, should be compensated without further delay, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has said.
Addressing delegates at the ICC Review Conference in Kampala yesterday, Mr Luis Moreno Ocampo, said: 'The millions of LRA victims in northern Uganda do not need to wait for trial to be assisted. They need compensation and assistance now.'
....According to Mr Ocampo, the states' priority should be arresting Joseph Kony and stopping LRA rebels who have continued to cause havoc against humanity...."
ix. "ICC working on Kony arrest - Ocampo", New Vision, 2 June 2010, http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/13/721581
x. "ICC closing in on Kony - Ocampo", Daily Monitor, 2 June 2010, http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/930442/-/x0pjib/-/
xi. "Uganda opposition chief urges ICC to probe leader", AFP, 3 June 2010, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iF49BwlGEr1L5NOBWlw4hN4tngEg
xii. "War Victims Turn to ICC for Compensation", Daily Monitor, 3 June 2010, http://allafrica.com/stories/201006030176.html
xiii. "Uganda politician refers Museveni to ICC ahead of election", Daily Nation, 3 June 2010,
http://www.nation.co.ke/News/africa/Uganda politician refers Museveni  to ICC/-/1066/931656/-/lh3yxsz/-/
xiv. "UGANDA: ICC to investigate allegations of army atrocities", IRIN News, 3 June 2010, http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=89357
xv. "Uganda opposition chief urges ICC to probe leader", AFP, 3 June 2010, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iF49BwlGEr1L5NOBWlw4hN4tngEg
xvi. "Opposition Leader Wants ICC to Investigate Uganda's Leader", VOA News, 3 June 2010, http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Opposition-Leader-Wants-ICC-to-Investigate-Ugandas-Leader-95575984.html
xvii. "Calls for war crimes investigation of Ugandan president intensify", RNW, 3 June 2010, http://www.rnw.nl/international-justice/article/calls-war-crimes-investigation-ugandan-president-intensify
xviii. "ICC to investigate Ugandan army", CNN, 3 June 2010, http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/africa/06/03/uganda.army.icc/
xix. "Otunnu petitions ICC to probe Museveni", Daily Monitor, 4 June 2010, http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/931966/-/x0qcsn/-/
xx. "International Court Won't Probe Ugandan President, Vision Says", Bloomberg, 4 June 2010, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601116&sid=aC93eLWbIZHk
xxi.. INTERVIEW: "I am waiting for evidence on Buganda killings, says ICC chief", by Edris Kiggundu (The Observer), 30 May 2010, http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8706:i-am-waiting-for-evidence-on-buganda-killings-says-icc-chief&catid=34:news&Itemid=59
CICC's policy on the referral and prosecution of situations before the ICC:
The Coalition for the ICC is not an organ of the court. The CICC is an independent NGO movement dedicated to the establishment of the International Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization. The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries and to raise awareness about the ICC's trigger mechanisms and procedures, as they develop. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, do not endorse or promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations before the ICC. However, individual CICC members may endorse referrals, provide legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local and other organizations in the course of their efforts.
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