Amnesty International, an international human rights lobby organization, is demanding that the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) cooperates with the International Criminal Court by providing the whereabouts of Lord's Resistance Army deputy commanders Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen.
Both Odhiambo and Ongwen are wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecution on war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Northern Uganda. The two men have reportedly expressed desire in surrendering to the Government of Uganda and have asked for the International Organization for Migration to mediate in their hand over.
In a letter to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sudan, Amnesty International expressed its concern of Sudan mission' role in the surrender of the LRA fighters. It says the UN mission is bound by the Negotiated Relationship Agreement between the ICC and the United Nations, which requires that the two bodies cooperate closely with each other.
Amnesty International's program manager for international law, Martin Macpherson, says that if UN Sudan mission were to hand Odhiambo and Ongwen to the Ugandan authorities, the UN would effectively help prevent their arrest and surrender to the ICC. He argues that this would amount to an obstruction of justice.
Amnesty International urges the Sudan mission to immediately provide the ICC with all information about the whereabouts of Odhiambo and Ongwen to facilitate their arrest and surrender. It says the same information should be provided to any state that is able and willing to arrest and surrender the suspects to the ICC.
The organization also calls on UN mission to the Sudan not to facilitate the return of the two men to Uganda unless Uganda pledges to arrest them immediately and surrender them to the ICC.
The arrest warrant for Okot Odhiambo lists 10 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes against him. The charges include including murder, enslavement and forced enlisting of children. The arrest warrant against Dominic Ongwen lists seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, enslavement and inhumane acts.
Several anti-ICC advocates want the charges against Dominic Ongwen dropped. They argue that since he was abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army and forced into the rebellion when he was 10 years old, his actions were not necessarily his own, but were conditioned by his past experience as a victim.