UNITED NATIONS, Oct 6 (Reuters) – The International Criminal Court has issued arrests warrants for five leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Uganda cult notorious for raping, maiming and killing children, a U.N. official said on Thursday.
The warrants, which follow sealed indictments, are the first issued by the new court in The Hague, the first permanent global tribunal set up to try individuals for genocide, war crimes and systematic human rights abuses.
“I know they have issued arrest warrants for five people,” said William Lacy Swing, the head of the U.N. mission in the Congo. He said the notifications went out last week to the governments of Uganda, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where a remanent of the LRA has taken refuge.
Nineteen years of warfare by the LRA, led by a Christian mystic, Joseph Kony, has devastated northern Uganda and uprooted more than 1.6 million people. More than 10,000 children have been kidnapped by the rebels, based in the Sudan, and forced to become fighters, porters and sex slaves.