26 May 2010

Uganda: Amnesty International Wants Kony Arrested

Kampala — Amnesty International has urged governments in the Great Lakes Region to implement International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants ahead of the conference in Kampala.

The two-week conference is scheduled to take place at the Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala on May 29.

"Arrest warrants issued in 2005 by the ICC for Joseph Kony and four Lord's Resistance Army commanders remained in force, but were not implemented by Uganda and other regional governments," Amnesty International stated in its latest report.

Kony's commanders, who were indicted with him for atrocities during the northern Ugandan war, include Dominic Ongwen, Okot Odhiambo, Vincent Otti and Raska Lukwiya. Lukwiya has since been confirmed dead and Otti is also said to be dead.

Uganda is a member of the ICC and is, therefore, obliged to arrest and surrender anyone named in an arrest warrant.

However, information minister Kabakumba Masiko yesterday queried Amnesty International's motive in implying that Uganda had not made efforts to apprehend Kony.

"Government forces are hunting for Kony. however, that does not stop other people, including the ICC, from hunting and arresting Kony," Kabakumba said.

On criticisms that President Yoweri Museveni had not supported the ICC's indictment of Sudanese President Omar Bashir, Kabakumba asked: "Has President Bashir come here since the ICC issued a warrant of arrest against him?"

Bashir was indicted over killings and other atrocities in Sudan's Darfur region.

In its report, Amnesty International noted that despite the 2008-2009 joint military operation by the armed forces of Uganda, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the LRA continued to abuse human rights.

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