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Uganda: Latest Statements, News and Opinion
18 Jan 2012
Please find below information about recent developments related to the International Criminal Court's (ICC) investigation in Uganda.
This message includes statements from members of the Coalition for the ICC (I) as well as related news and opinion (II).
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. COALITION MEMBERS' STATEMENTS
1. "Uganda: War Crimes Trials Face Challenges. Local Effort May Offer Insights for Other Countries," Human Rights Watch press release, 15 January 2012, http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/15/uganda-war-crimes-trials-face-challenges
"(Cape Town) - Legal and organizational issues that have emerged during Uganda's first war crimes prosecution pose challenges for Uganda in seeking to ensure justice for victims of the most serious crimes, Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper released today. Uganda's early experience may provide relevant information to other countries seeking to hold domestic trials for serious crimes committed in violation of international law - genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
In recent years, there has been increasing focus on making it possible for national courts to conduct trials of serious crimes. In particular, states parties to the International Criminal Court (ICC) have devoted greater attention to complementarity - the principle that national courts should be the primary vehicles for prosecuting genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
The 29-page briefing paper, "Justice for Serious Crimes before National Courts: Uganda's International Crimes Division," provides a snapshot of progress from Uganda's complementarity-related initiative: the International Crimes Division (ICD). The ICD is a division of the High Court with a mandate to prosecute genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, in addition to crimes such as terrorism. Based on research by Human Rights Watch in Uganda in September 2011, this briefing paper analyzes the ICD's work to date, the obstacles it has encountered, and challenges both for the future work of the ICD and for national accountability efforts more broadly..."
READ THE BRIEFING: "Justice for Serious Crimes before National Courts: Uganda's International Crimes Division," Human Rights Watch briefing paper, January 2012, http://www.coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/uganda0112ForUpload_0.pdf
2. "The Lord's Resistance Army: End Game?" International Crisis Group press release, 17 November 2011, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/media-releases/2011/africa/lord-s-resistance-army-end-game.aspx
"Insufficient political will has thwarted regional efforts to stop the murderous Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) but vigorous diplomacy led by the African Union (AU), an immediate military push and complementary civilian initiatives could end the misery of thousands.
The Lord's Resistance Army: End Game ?, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, explains why Uganda's half-hearted three-year offensive has failed to eliminate Joseph Kony's guerrilla band and why there is now a new window of opportunity. Since peace talks with the erstwhile northern Ugandan insurgency collapsed and a first assault on Kony's camps was botched in late 2008, the Ugandan army has been trying to catch scattered groups of fighters along the borders of DR Congo (DRC), the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan. In that period, the LRA, now only a small but deadly criminal and terror band, has killed some 2,400 civilians, abducted some 3,400 and caused 440,000 to flee homes.
"The reasons for the military failure are at root political; Ugandan President Museveni scaled down the anti-LRA mission to pursue other ventures that would win him greater political capital at home and abroad", says Ned Dalby, Crisis Group's Central Africa Analyst. "Since the LRA no longer poses a threat to northern Uganda, few opposition politicians or community leaders there demand Museveni finish it off"...."
READ THE REPORT: "The Lord's Resistance Army: End Game?" International Crisis Group, 17 November 2011, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/africa/horn-of-africa/uganda/182-the-lords-resistance-army-end-game.aspx
SEE ALSO: Ending The LRA: Reason For Optimism And Political Commitment," Ned Dalby, International Crisis Group, 10 January 2012, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/africa/horn-of-africa/uganda/op-eds/dalby-ending-the-lra.aspx
3. "Visit of President Omar Al Bashir to Uganda: UGANDA HAS CAUSE TO ARREST BASHIR," Uganda Coalition on the International Criminal Court press release, 8 December 2011, http://www.ucicc.org/index.php/publications/8-news/31-press-release-visit-of-president-omar-al-bashir-to-uganda-uganda-has-cause-to-arrest-bashir-2
"Human Rights Network-Uganda, (HURINET-U) and the Uganda Coalition on the International Criminal Court (UCICC) are dismayed to learn that Government of Uganda has again extended an invitation to President Omar Al Bashir of Sudan to attend an International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Heads of State Summit from 15th-16th December 2011. This development is of great concern following statements made by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hon. Okello Oryem who publicly stated on WBS Prime News on-Sunday 04 December, 2011 that "Uganda has no cause to arrest President Bashir" and that as a head of state he was free to come to Uganda while responding to Kenya's High Court issuance of arrest warrant to Bashir last week.
Uganda is a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The country has also domesticated the Rome Statute of the ICC by enacting the ICC Act-2010; which has provisions that set out obligations for close cooperation with the Court with regard to arrest and Surrender of persons on who arrest warrants have been issued. Further the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1593 that referred the Darfur situation to the ICC imposes obligations on all UNSC members to arrest and surrender all persons including President Bashir. Aware of these obligations, Uganda should not have invited Bashir unless she wants to arrest him...."
II. RELATED NEWS AND OPINION
1. "We don't recognize local amnesty - Judge," New Vision, 17 January 2012, http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/628413-we-don-t-recognize-local-amnesty-icc-judge.html
2. "Rights Group Sees Problems in Uganda's First LRA Trial," VOA, 16 January 2012, http://www.voanews.com/english/news/-Rights-Group-Sees-Problems-in-Ugandas-First-LRA-Trial-137414353.html
3. "Uganda divided over calls for Al Bashir's arrest," Africa Report, 9 December 2011, http://www.theafricareport.com/index.php/2011120850177162/east-horn-africa/uganda-divided-over-calls-for-al-bashir-s-arrest-50177162.html
4. "US: No Combat Role for Troops in Uganda, VOA, 8 December 2011,, http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/US-No-Combat-Role-for-Troops-in-Uganda-135251123.html
6. "US troops deploy in LRA rebel hunt: Uganda army," AFP, 6 December 2011, http://www.nation.co.ke/News/africa/US+troops+deploy+in+LRA+rebel+hunt+Uganda+army/-/1066/1285240/-/13lxkxcz/-/index.html
7. "UGANDA: Voices of the abducted," IRIN, 21 November 2011, http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=94265
8. "LRA REPORT CARD #3: OBAMA IMPROVES HIS GRADES, BUT STILL HAS A LOT OF WORK TO DO," Enough, 21 November 2011, http://enoughproject.org/blogs/lra-report-card-3-obama-improves-his-grades-still-has-lot-work-do
9. "UN urges tougher action against Uganda rebels," SAPA-AFP, 15 November 2011, http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/news/un-urges-tougher-action-against-uganda-rebels-1.1178627
10. "China urges LRA to cease violence," Xinhua, 15 November 2011, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-11/15/content_14095851.htm
11. "UN Britain - "The UK condemns the Lord's Resistance Army's continued violations of humanitarian law and their human rights abuses"," ISRIA, 15 November 2011 http://www.isria.com/pages/15_November_2011_22.php
12. "India supports UN condemnation of attacks by LRA," Zee News, 15 November 2011, http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/india-supports-un-condemnation-of-attacks-by-lra_741955.html
13. "Uganda: Ulterior motives in US, LRA fight," Global Post, 13 November 2011, http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/111103/uganda-joseph-kony-lra-lord-resistance-army-oil
14. "State ignores court ruling over Kwoyelo," Daily Monitor, 13 November 2011, http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1271924/-/bgurw8z/-/index.html
15. "Why Obama sent troops to Uganda," The Citizen, 11 November 2011, http://thecitizen.co.tz/editorial-analysis/-/16972-why-obama-sent-troops-to-uganda
16. "Ugandan president Museveni says US troops will not engage in battle," AP, 8 November 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/08/uganda-museveni-obama-troops?INTCMP=SRCH
17. "Tracking the LRA activity on the web," The Monitor, 8 November 2011, http://www.monitor.co.ug/artsculture/Reviews/-/691232/1269184/-/6qbo5z/-/
18. "What is the Lord's Resistance Army?" Christian Science Monitor, 8 November 2011, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/Africa-Monitor/2011/1108/What-is-the-Lord-s-Resistance-Army
19. "Leaders want govt-LRA talks," Monitor, 7 November 2011, http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1268126/-/bhcmtxz/-/index.html
20. "Kwoyelo in contact with LRA financiers-Govt," New Vision, 7 November 2011, http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/18961-kwoyelo-in-contact-with-lra-financiers-govt.html
21. "US Troop Deployment Revisited - The Hunt for Kony," Justice in Conflict, 3 November 2011, http://justiceinconflict.org/2011/11/03/us-troop-deployment-revisited-â€“-the-hunt-for-kony/
22. "US troops to Uganda & Kony off to Darfur?" Justice in Conflict, 2 November 2011, http://justiceinconflict.org/2011/11/02/us-troops-to-uganda-kony-off-to-darfur/
23. "Five reasons why Lord's Resistance Army remains on the loose," CNN, 31 October 2011, http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/31/world/africa/lra-5-reasons/
24. "Uganda atrocity survivor: 'This is my picture'" MSNBC, 31 October 2011, http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/21/8430494-uganda-atrocity-survivor-this-is-my-picture