June 18, 2024

ICC to involve international community to arrest Kony

By Denish Ongora (denish.ongora@vol.co.ug)

Lira

The International Criminal Court (ICC) plans to involve the effort of the international community to pursue and arrest the elusive commander of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels Joseph Kony so that he can be prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in northern Uganda.

In a stakeholders meeting organized by ICC at Gracious Palace Hotel to give an update on the case of Kony, participants asked ICC about how they will arrest Kony who is already charged by the Netherlands base court.

In his response, the international Cooperation adviser in the officer of Prosecutor –International criminal Court Dahirou Sant-Anna said the international community will be informed of the need to arrest Kony so that he faces trial for crimes he committed.

Dahirou said the attempt by American marines and UPDF soldiers to pursue Kony in DR Congo was futile due to the thick tropical forest that the rebels were taking refuge

Dahirou however said ICC can confirm charges against suspected criminals but cannot try them in abstentia.

Dingai Okwir, who is a cultural leader and a member of Lira City service commission, faults the US government for lack of interest in pursuing Kony. He said, if the US government were intrested in arresting Kony they would have succeeded in the same way they arrested former Libyan dictator MuhamarGadafi and his counterpart of Iraq Sadam Hussein.

On the same note, Abwor clan chief  Rt. Col. Tony Otoa accused the governments of  South Sudan, DR Congo and Central African Republic of supporting activities of Kony in their respective countries.

The director of Corruption Brakes Crusade-COBRA Okabo Acol William welcomed the initiative of organizing the update meeting which he said helps in preparing the minds of people so that if Kony is arrested, they can testify against him

In 2005 ICC issued arrest warrants against top LRA commanders including Joseph Kony, Vincent Otii, Okot Odiambo, Rasta Lukwiya and Dominic Ongwen. However Lukwiya, Otii and Odiambo are believed to have died.

In March last year, the US government put a bounty of 5 million US dollars for anybody who can help provide information that can lead to the arrest of Kony.