MAY 29, 2010: We Must Hunt Down Kony - Ocampo

We Must Hunt Down Kony - Ocampo

SOURCE: The New Vision
By Milton Olupot

Kampala — The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, has said the Lord's Resistance Army rebel leader, Joseph Kony, will never make peace whatever opportunity he is given.

Ocampo, who is in Uganda to attend the ICC Review Conference, said the only way to deal with Kony is to hunt him down.

"Kony will never make peace. Without the arrest warrant on his head, Kony would not have left Southern Sudan and would still be attacking Uganda," he told journalists at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Saturday. The ICC conference opens tomorrow in Kampala.

Ocampo said Kony fled Southern Sudan when he realised that the ICC had made a formal agreement with the Southern Sudan government.

"Kony was not sincere about peace talks. He received a lot of money during the talks and used it to mobilise his forces. It was a failed process," Ocampo said.

He explained that Kony's arrest has not been effected because he is surrounded by his militia. "But we are trying to galvanise efforts to arrest him".

Asked if the international court would consider putting a bounty on Kony's head, he said: "We can't offer cash, but I know there are a number of organisations and people who are putting cash on some people's heads."

On possible prosecution of the members of the UPDF, Ocampo said he had not received any information about atrocities committed by the UPDF.

He said that such atrocities have to have been committed after July 2002 and the crimes should be of a serious nature like genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

He denied allegations that the ICC is a court designed to target only Africans. "I am proud that we are spread all over, it is not true that we are only for Africa," he said. He explained that previously African victims suffered without anybody to protect them.

"We failed in the Rwanda genocide, we also failed in Congo, but we shall not fail in Darfur and other areas that have been brought to our attention now," he said, cataloguing Uganda, DR Congo, Central African Republic, Kenya and Darfur as states where they have warrants of arrest and cases being investigated.

Ocampo said he would soon go to the Security Council to report that Sudan was not co-operating in the implementation of warrants of arrest issued against the perpetuators of violence in Darfur.

He also explained that the issue of Uganda trying Kony and his commanders, in case they are arrested, would only depend on the decision of the ICC judges. "If Uganda's High Court would like to try Kony, then the The ICC judges will decide on that. That has to be discussed in Court," he added.

He said the ICC conference is an opportunity for states to show commitment to protect the rights of their people.