The war crimes court: a rights-based response to the conflict in northern Uganda?
North and North-Eastern Uganda have faced a war conflict situation for over 20 years which brought with it commission of war crimes and other human rights violations by both state (UPDF) and non state actors (LRA). Although the government of Uganda had underestimated the havoc and atrocities that the LRA would occasion on the population, especially on the innocent civil-ians, the reverse was true. The war persisted and prompted the Museveni government to engage different means including military action, dialogue, referring the situation to International Criminal Court, provision for amnesty laws, establishment of the war crimes court and provision for non- formal justice mechanisms in a bid to address both the war conflict and the post war conflict situation in the region. The establishment of the war crimes court is a result of the Juba Peace Agreement on Accountability and Reconciliation (though not signed by LRA leader Joseph Kony). It raised mixed feelings of both hope and distrust among the victims and stake holders because according to the agreement, the court will only try the LRA and any other person but not state actors (UPDF). The latter will be tried in the military court martial and other existing criminal jus-tice fora. Therefore, the views of the victims and stakeholders on the estab-lishment, role and activities of the war crimes court are divergent. Considering the circumstances under which the court was established and the limited jurisdiction of the court to, the issue is whether the war crimes court will serve the role of observing the Rule of Law and providing justice to the victims as is hoped and anticipated by many. The views of the victims on the issue are divided based on ideologies, experiences, influence and other factors.
|Keywords||War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, Human Rights Violations, Accountability, Northern Uganda, Remedies, Victims, War Crimes Division Court, International Criminal Court|
|Thesis Advisor||Arts, Karin|
|Series||Human Rights, Development and Social Justice (HDS)|
Atingu, Beatrice Stella. (2011, December 15). The war crimes court: a rights-based response to the conflict in northern Uganda?. Human Rights, Development and Social Justice (HDS). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/10821