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25 organizations to advice ICC on reparation of LRA war victims

Dominic Ongwen during the delivery of the sentence before the International Criminal Court on 6 May. File Photo

Former commander of LRA’s Siniya brigade was convicted to 25 years in jail for committing 61 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Northern Uganda

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The International Criminal Court-ICC has granted permission to 25 organizations to offer advice to the court on the reparation of the Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA war victims in Northern Uganda.

This follows a call made by the Trial Chamber IX on May 6, 2021, for proposals on the reparations of the victims shortly after sentencing Dominic Ongwen, the former commander of the LRA’s Siniya brigade to 25 years in jail for committing 61 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Northern Uganda between July 1st 2002 and December 31st 2005.

Martin Okwir, the ICC Outreach coordinator says many organizations sent their requests but the court only selected 25 of which 19 are Ugandan based while 6 are foreign. The organizations granted permission according to Okwir include Amuria Development Agency in Teso sub region, Uganda Victims Association in Lira and Child Youth Initiative.

Others are Foundation for Justice and Development Initiatives-FJDI, Acholi Religious Leader Peace Initiative-ARLPI and Gulu Women Economic Development and Globalization-GWED-G among others.

Okwir revealed that the organizations have been permitted to advise the court on the reparation of war victims in Northern Uganda through the friends of court’s approach because they have relevant knowledge and experience on the LRA insurgency, latest data on war victims as well as deeper understanding on the culture of the people of Northern Uganda.

According to Okwir, the ICC has given the organizations until December 6, this year to make their submissions which the court shall use to develop a comprehensive reparation program informed by information obtained from the ground.

Retired Bishop Nelson Onono Onweng, the Chairperson of Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative says that they are going to advise the ICC to build schools, health facilities or community halls to act as monuments in the areas where massacres took place and also provide scholarships to the survivors and the war victims.

Pamela Angwec, the Executive Director of Gulu Women Economic Development and Globalization –GWED-G says they will advise the court to prioritize the women who were affected by the war.

She revealed that their concept of reparation is victim-centred.

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