Solomy Awidi, a Transitional Lawyer at Refugee Law Project, says the victims shared their frustration with the trials during a documentation exercise to trace the various perspectives of communities affected by the conflict in the greater Northern Uganda held in Dzaipi and Arinyapi sub counties in Adjumani district last week.
A second delegation of 10 religious and cultural leaders from Acholi sub region will once again visit the seat of the International Criminal Court ICC in the Hague this year. They are expected to interact with former Lords Resistance Army LRA warlord Dominic Ongwen, a native of Amuru district who standing trial at the Court for 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Dahirou Sant-Anna, the ICC International Cooperation Adviser says seven of the witnesses were forced wives of Dominic Ongwen while others were drawn from contextual victims, expert witnesses, Uganda Peoples Defence Forces-UPDF personnel and former LRA insiders.
Thomas Obhof, one of Ongwens defense lawyers, asked Witness P-142 on Tuesday about the ranks held by Kenneth Banya, Sam Kolo, Onen Kamdullu alias Kabule and Odongo Acellam while LRA and whether they were free after leaving the rebel group.
The president of the International Criminal Court, Judge Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, today met victims of the LRA conflict at Lukodi trading centre in Gulu district. Lukodi is the site of the May 19th, 2004 LRA massacre in which the rebels attacked a camp for internally displaced people and killed at least 56 of them.
At least 4,107 victims have been admitted to participate in the case. 2,605 of these are represented by Joseph Akwenyu Manoba and Francisco Cox, the representative of the victims. The remaining 1,502 victims are represented by Paolina Massidda, the common legal representative of Victims.
According to scope of the confirmed charges by International Criminal Court, in Abok IDP Camp, Dominic Ongwen is accused of carrying out attack on civilian population, murder, attempted murder, torture, cruel treatment, other inhumane acts, pillaging, enslavement, destruction of property and persecution. Others include sexual and gender based crimes, conscription and use of child soldiers committed between at least 1 July 2002 and 31 December 2005.
The trial is due to start on Tuesday December 6 at the International Criminal Court ICC in The Hague, Netherlands. Ogwen, one of the five Lords Resistance Army-LRA commanders indicted in 2005, faces up to 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Foundation therefore sought leave of court to allow it submit views and concerns of other victims in Lango and Teso regions to allow them participate in proceedings and benefit from potential reparation awards, once Ongwen is convicted.