LRA – ICC Most Wanted
Posted on October 10th, 2005
THE UN International Criminal Court (ICC) issued the arrest warrants for Joseph Kony and four of his top Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commanders accused of crimes against humanity.
I salute the ICC for taking such a bold and decisive step. It is about time that an international organisation took a strong stance on the horrific war taking place in Northern Uganda, the Lord’s Resistance Army, and this sends a message, terrorising, torturing and mutilating civilians cannot and will not be tolerated.
But not everyone got the message as attention immediately turned to the possible effects on the peace process, with some people lamenting that the issuing of the warrants could have an adverse effect on chances for peace.
Forget for the moment the thousands who have been maimed, tortured or killed, the 1.5 million people displaced and turned into refugees in their own land. What are the chances for peace? The LRA have turned the term rebels without a cause into a macabre art form. Over 19 years somehow they convinced the world that they are some kind of legitimate opposition to the Uganda government, despite having no manifesto, no clear goals, vague references to replacing the government with the 10 Commandments all the while committing unconscionable atrocities…
Over the last 19 years the LRA have been made peace offers, been given the chance of amnesty. In fact even as the warrants were drafted, the amnesty was still in place.. As abhorrent as it may seem, if they so wish, the leaders of the still have the choice of freedom from persecution in Uganda..They have chosen not do so.
It has been evident for sometime the LRA have no intention of making peace, no intention of giving up their brutal campaign; current attempts at peace were likely to prove as futile as they have in the past.
At least the ICC has seen through the mask of the LRA. and having lost patience issued warrants out for Kony and his henchmen. And about time too.
For their part, officials from the Uganda Government welcomed the news and wasted no time in calling on the public to turn them in saying “The ICC has issued orders for Uganda, Sudan and the DRC to execute by arresting these LRA commanders for crimes against humanity. The Government of Uganda has decided to inform the public through you (media). We call upon the public to assist in their arrest. We have passed the warrants to the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions)..”
Let’s hope they get them soon.