Uganda wants a waiver
From the start, Uganda has been a tricky case for the International Criminal Court. The ICC issued indictments for several Lord’s Resistance Army leaders last year, but prominent voices in the country have argued all along that the indictments are getting in the way of a negotiated settlement. As we’ve discussed on Passport recently, there ...
From the start, Uganda has been a tricky case for the International Criminal Court. The ICC issued indictments for several Lord's Resistance Army leaders last year, but prominent voices in the country have argued all along that the indictments are getting in the way of a negotiated settlement. As we've discussed on Passport recently, there has been a lot of talk about amnesty for LRA fighters who come in from the field. As we mentioned in the Morning Brief today, there is now news that the familar peace versus justice dilemma has become even more acute: The Ugandan government is actually seeking a waiver from its international obligation to arrest LRA leaders so that it can negotiate with them. So far, the ICC appears to be standing its ground.
The precise motivations of the Ugandan authorities in the unfolding saga are unclear. The government, we should recall, formally asked the ICC to investigate LRA atrocities. So its current stance is a dramatic reversal. It could be that the government is now wary that the court’s investigators might be nosing into the conduct of government officials and so would prefer to pull the plug. Whatever their calculations, it’s important to recognize that the ICC’s founding document, the Rome Statute, offers a way out: The UN Security Council has the power to suspend investigations in the interests of international peace and security. It would be an embarrassing climb-down, but it may yet happen.
David Bosco is a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of The Poseidon Project: The Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist
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