Trial Justice: The International Criminal Court and the Lord''s Resistance Army (African Arguments)
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The first major case before the International Criminal Court is the appalling situation in northern Uganda where Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army abducted thousands, many of them children, and systematically tortured, raped, maimed and killed them.
This book argues that much of the antipathy to the ICC is based upon ignorance and misconception. Drawing on field research in Uganda, it shows that victims are much more interested in punitive international justice than has been suggested, and that the ICC has made resolution of the war more likely.
involved in peace negotiations only in order to build up their military capacity, and that they had secured assistance from the government of Sudan. Maybe this is true, but there were additional factors. Although expensive, the war in the north had certain political advantages for his government. The upheavals were contained in a part of the country in which he had no power base. In addition, the horrific violence and weird spirituality of the LRA allowed his government to present the north as a
forgiveness. In fact in the Lwo language, ‘amnesty’ and ‘forgiveness’ are not distinct – the same word (timo-kica) is used for both. The Christian organizations and the ‘traditional’ leaders were especially prone to confuse the two ideas, even arguing that there is an Acholi system of justice based on forgiveness which is superior to more conventional law-making and enforcement. Rather naively, many NGOs have taken this at face value. 17 Mothers and their children were hacked to death at Pagak
the ones that are coming out in big numbers. The amnesty has been there for years but they are only responding now. I have been in touch with the LRA for a long time both when I was brigade commander and in civil society … Some told me a few days ago that even if there are only five left they will still continue. For various reasons they get promoted for crimes. To them they take their ranks very seriously. They have a reason to stay in the ranks. They have free women. There are many reasons for
cent thought that ‘traditional leaders’ best represented them, and only 6 per cent thought that ‘traditional leaders’ could bring justice. On the other hand, many respondents were positive about ‘traditional ceremonies’ as a way of dealing with the LRA. Around 50 per cent of respondents in Kitgum district, 60 per cent in Gulu district and 70 per cent in Lira district gave responses indicating that they thought they would be useful. An implication seems to be that rituals are very important, but
up. The remainder might then be given some form of impunity (although the ICC would still have jurisdiction to ignore it). As the court becomes more active, this may be a far-reaching implication of the ratification of the Rome Treaty, at least for state parties. 9 Similar events have been reported in Lira district. It is worth noting that during the 1990s guerrilla groups operating in north-west Uganda, notably the West Nile Bank Front, were linked with the LRA through the Sudan government. A