Uganda welcomes ICC’s arrest order for top rebel leaders

Ugandan Defense Minister, Amama Mbabazi, on Friday welcomed the warrant of arrest issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for five top Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commanders.

Addressing a press conference in Kampala, Mbabazi said the warrant of arrest has been served to Uganda as well as Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where some of the rebels are based.

He said that the move would speed up the pursuit of the LRA because no country would be willing to host the fugitives.

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The minister named the five LRA commanders as Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Rasta Lokwiya, Dominic Ongwen and Okot Odyambo, saying only four were actually “arrestable” and Ongwen was recently killed in Teso region in northeastern Uganda.

He urged Sudan to seize Kony from his hideout on its soil and send him to face justice, adding that “I trust the Sudanese, who obviously know where Kony is, will effectively execute that warrant.”

However, he said that the Ugandan government would continue supporting the peace process led by peace mediator Betty Bigombe, involving other LRA elements not listed by the ICC.

The LRA rebels have devastated northern Uganda in their 19-year rebellion which has killed tens of thousands of civilians, abducted over 25,000 children and displaced over 1.4 million people.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Xinhua, China
Oct. 8, 2005

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