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Access to Justice Programme for LRA Victims Launched :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Access to Justice Programme for LRA Victims Launched

The Danish Embassy in Uganda and the International Criminal Court ICC have launched a one-year access to justice project meant to engage victims of the Lords Resistance Army LRA.
The ICC registrar Herman von Hebel together with the Danish Ambassador, Mogens Pederson.

Audio 4

 The Danish Embassy in Uganda and the International Criminal Court (ICC) have launched a one-year access to justice project meant to engage victims of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

 

The ICC registrar Herman von Hebel together with the Danish Ambassador, Mogens Pederson, today signed an agreement and launched the programme at the Danish Embassy in Kampala as part of the events to mark the International Justice Day.

 

July 17 is the International Criminal Justice Day, marking the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute in 1998. The Rome Statute is the founding treaty of the ICC which seeks to protect people from genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.  

  

The project worth 210,000 Euros is aimed at making the trial of former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen at the ICC more accessible to the victims. The programme includes community video screening, visits to the Hague by local leaders and journalists and radio programmes among others.

 

Ongwen, the former commander of the Sinia brigade of the LRA, faces 70 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed after July 2002 in Northern Uganda.

 

The project will see video screening equipment provided to 23 communities of Abok, Pajule, Odek, Lukodi and Corom where they will watch the proceeding.

 

Maria Kamara Mabinta, the ICC outreach coordinator in Kampala, notes that they have been pondering on how to involve local communities to witness the trial in The Hague, adding that this should contribute to the healing of the victims but also involving the victims fully. She says some members of the communities will also be taken to witness the trial.

 

//Cue in: "Engaging the locals...

Cue out:..gaps of information."//

 

The Acholi Paramount Chief, David Onen Acana II, says northern Uganda is still recovering from the war and more emphasis should be put in fighting the emerging challenges. He says having affected communities participate in the trial will ensure truth telling, healing and development.

 

//Cue in: "All we want…

Cue out:…rampant land conflict."//

 

The ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel noted that the project will be essential in regards to bridging the gap and providing information needs in regards to the trial to the community. He says the number of people affected has been so high and the registry is committed to have their information need catered for.

 

He says the screening sessions so far done in the affected areas have received an overwhelming attendance, but a huge majority of children and women were left out.

 

//Cue in: "The call for…

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Ambassador Mogens Pederson stated that the project will contribute to not only access to justice but accountability and peace as well. He says following the atrocities in northern Uganda, it is important for justice to prevail since the war is silent.

 

He says they will have a review of the programme to see how to keep it running after a year of implementation.

  

//Cue in: "We are optimistic…

Cue out:…and harmonious coexistence."//

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