27 Apr ICC Watch: An Ugandan NGO Tells the ICC to Butt Out
This interview with a local Ugandan NGO suggests the ICC should back out of its Ugandan investigation (an issue Peggy discussed in more detail here). Here’s a key exchange between a reporter from the East African and David Kaiza:
Does the ICC risk escalating the [Ugandan] war?
The LRA [the Ugandan rebel forces -ed.] are not the kind of people who will take threats lightly. They invariably take revenge on civilians. The impact of the ICC has been to heighten the violence. The problem with the ICC is that it has arrogated itself the responsibility to judge the process of the peace talks.
There have been accusations that although atrocities have also been committed by the UPDF, the ICC is going to investigate only the LRA.
Based on the field work we have done, there are those who want Kony forgiven. There are those who say that justice is when all the people who are in the LRA are brought to justice irrespective of whether they are at the top or not. They make reservations for the children who were abducted into the group. And they also think that those UPDF [Ugandan army] officers who committed crimes should be tried.
Sadly, the ICC is silent on what it would do with the UPDF. To make it worse, the ICC jurisdiction starts with July 2002, which means crimes committed before them cannot be investigated. People ask about the Mukura massacre. Who is going to try those NRA officers who committed that crime? [In 1989, NRA soldiers allegedly locked 69 people into a train wagon in Kumi district and set the wagon on fire].
This conflict has spanned two decades and a whole generation has been lost. I am not sure this is not the use of Africa as a guinea pig for the ICC.
I have no idea whether this is right, but I do know that the ICC may or may not have the legal authority to back out of this investigation. This means that, if the ICC really is preventing a peace, they may also have no way of backing out once they’ve gone in.