JULY 22, 2010: The ICC marks the Day of International Criminal Justice with affected communities in northern Uganda

The ICC marks the Day of International Criminal Justice with affected communities in northern Uganda

SOURCE: International Criminal Court (ICC)

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 of northern Uganda.

Over 180 members of the community consisting largely of women, youths and children's groups turned up to commemorate the special day on 17 July.

In 2004, over 60 Lukodi residents were attacked and 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 they decided to come back to their village to start a new life.

The interactive event was embodied by an ICC presentation, speeches, and dance and play performances by members of the affected community, and concluded with questions and answers sessions. 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. During May, the communities of Lukodi village had the opportunity to interact face-to-face with the President of the International Criminal Court, Judge Sang-Hyun Song. The President provided responses to their views and concerns in relation to the mandate and operations of the Court in the Uganda situation.

Local council authorities and 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 have today also brought the President of the ICC to meet with us directly. We are all here to mark this big day….. We shall work with you to reach others with information on the ICC", he noted.

Background:

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.

URL Address: http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/MYAI-87M2BU?OpenDocument

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