ICC Applauds Uganda for Her ‘Constructive Cooperation'

1839 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The International Criminal Court ICC has commended Uganda for her constructive and positive cooperation in the wake of trial of Dominic Ongwen, former Lords Resistance Army LRA commander.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has commended Uganda for her constructive and positive cooperation in the wake of trial of Dominic Ongwen, former Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) commander.

Trial for Ongwen, the former commander of the Sinia Brigade, is due to start tomorrow at The Hague. He faces 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

The confirmed charges concern crimes allegedly committed during attacks in Pajule IDP camp in October 2003, Odek IDP camp on April 2004, Lukodi IDP camp on May 2004, and Abok IDP camps in June 2004.

Herman Von Hebel, the ICC Registrar currently in Uganda says over the years the court relied and still continues to rely on the cooperation of States and State parties to the Rome Statute for the success of judicial work and processes.

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Ongwen was handed over to the ICC on 16 January 2015 pursuant to a 2005 ICC warrant. He was transferred to the ICC custody on 21 January 2015

Hebel's applause follows negative outbursts by Ugandan authorities who questioned the court's legitimate roles and threats of impending decision by Uganda to revoke its membership from The Hague based court.

Uganda ratified the Rome Statute in June 2002, becoming the first of the 134 member states to refer itself to the ICC by inviting prosecutors to investigate alleged war crimes committed in northern Uganda.

Several African leaders including President Yoweri Museveni discussed withdrawal from the court accusing it being biased. In 2009, the court issued an arrest warrant for Sudan's President Omar el Bashir for war crimes he allegedly committed in Dafur region.

The African leaders accuse the court of undermining Africa, while ignoring crimes committed by richer and more powerful states.

Recently, South Africa, Burundi and The Gambia - all full members of the ICC - flagged intentions to opt out of the court.