Friday, October 14, 2005

ICC Watch: Uganda Arrest Warrants Unsealed

The ICC Prosecutor has unsealed the arrest warrants issued in July 2005 against five leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The warrants can be found here. Not surprisingly, these warrants allege pretty grisly crimes including:

murder, abduction, sexual enslavement, mutilation, as well as mass burnings of houses and looting of camp settlements ... abducted civilians, including children, ...to have been forcibly recruited as fighters, porters and sex slaves and to take part in attacks against the Ugandan army (UPDF) and civilian communities.

I am generally sympathetic to Roger and Peggy's criticism of the effect an ICC intervention into a delicate peace negotiation, although I do think it is worth noting that the ICC does have some moral (and maybe) legal obligation to act. As one of its arrest warrants has pointed out, "LRA commanders are allegedly inclined to launch retaliatory strikes, thus creating a risk for victims and witnesses who have spoken with or provided evidence to the Office of the Prosecutor."

But the jury is still out on whether this intervention will result in more or less violence and suffering for the people of Uganda.

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