The ICC marks the Day of International Criminal Justice with affected communities in northern Uganda
Consistent with the Court’s outreach strategy to expand its reach to the most affected communities, the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Field Outreach Unit marked the Day of International Criminal Justice with the war affected communities of Lukodi village in the Gulu district of the Acholi sub-region, northern Uganda.
Over 180 members of the community consisting largely of women, youths and children’s groups gathered to commemorate the special day on 17 July.
In 2004, over 60 Lukodi residents were reportedly killed at the centre of the village by Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels. The residents of the entire village fled to live in an internally displaced people’s camp (IDP) for safety. After more than six years of living in camps, they decided to return to their village to start a new life.
The interactive event was embodied by an ICC presentation, speeches by representatives of community-based organisations, cultural and drama performances enacted by members of the affected community, and concluded with a question and answer session. The Field Outreach Unit made a presentation on the mandate and activities of the ICC in Uganda and as a follow-up, provided feedback on the concluded Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala.
Local council authorities, women and youth leaders of Lukodi village gave tribute to the Court for bringing the activities of the ICC closer to residents. The LC 11 Chairman of Lukodi, Mr Kakanyero addressed the crowd stating, “The ICC is with us and has never forgotten us since we left our village. In addition to giving us information about the Court, you also facilitated the visit of the President of the ICC to meet with us in May. As we mark this day, we call on the States Parties to the Rome Statute and the international community to arrest the LRA suspects so that justice would be done’’ he noted.
The International Criminal Court is a permanent international court established to investigate, prosecute and try individuals accused of committing the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
In December 2003, the Government of Uganda referred the situation in northern Uganda to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. In October 2005, the Court unsealed the warrants of arrests against five top commanders of the Lord’s Resistance Army for war crimes and crimes against humanity alleged to have been committed in northern Uganda: Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, Dominic Ongwen and Raska Lukwiya. The proceedings against Raska Lukwiya have been terminated by Pre-Trial Chamber II following the confirmation of his death in 2007.
Warrants of arrest have been outstanding for four alleged members of the LRA in the situation in Uganda since July 2005. Since then, the four suspects have remained at large.
For further information please contact Maria Mabinty Kamara, Field Outreach Co-ordinator for Uganda at +256-772-700655 or [email protected]