The ICC Spokesperson Fadi El Abdallah told Journalists at a press briefing in The Hague that the ICC doesn’t have any evidence of Otti’s execution and says the arrest can only be withdrawn if tangible evidence of Otti’s execution is received by the ICC.
The International Criminal Court-ICC says the arrest warrant
issued against the former Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA Deputy commander Vincent
Otti is still valid despite reports of his death more than a decade ago.
Otti was among five top LRA commanders indicted by The
Hague based Court in 2005 for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity
in Northern Uganda.
Others indicted by the global court include the elusive LRA leader
Joseph Kony, Dominic Ongwen now in ICC detention in the Netherlands, Okot
Odhiambo, and Raska Lukwiya, all dead.
However, in October 2007, it was reported that Otti was killed by firing squad in Garamba Forest in the Democratic
Republic of Congo-DRC on the orders of his commander Kony. Otti had reportedly
had a disagreement with Kony.
But the ICC Spokesperson Fadi El Abdallah told Journalists
at a press briefing in The Hague last week that the ICC doesn’t have any
evidence of Otti’s execution. He says the arrest can only be withdrawn if
tangible evidence about Otti’s execution is received by the ICC.
“Unless before the ICC there is evidence about the
execution, we cannot cancel the arrest warrant that was already issued,” said
Abdallah also noted that the arrest warrant against Otti’s
former boss Joseph Kony is equally valid adding that the hunt for him is still
He notes that the arrest warrants against Kony and Otti can
only be withdrawn after they pass on or a request has been made to reverse the
//cue in: “The arrest warrant…//
Cue out:…to the ICC.”//
On the hunt for Kony, Abdallah says the ICC has been monitoring
his movements and has consistently been liaising with member states where he
is suspected to be to effect his arrest. He however notes that the ICC
at the moment has no clue where Kony could be hiding.
//cue in: “The ICC doesn’t…//
Cue out:…investigations may be.”//
A total of 11 arrest warrants remain pending for individuals
referred to the ICC for allegedly committing war crimes and crimes against humanity
across the globe according to Abdallah.
Dominic Ongwen is the only top LRA commander of the five
indicted by the ICC who was captured and transferred to The Hague-based detention
facility in January 2015 for trial.
On May 6, 2021, the ICC sentenced Ongwen to 25 years in prison
after his being found guilty of a total of 61 crimes including crimes against
humanity and war crimes, committed in Northern Uganda between 1 July 2002 and
31 December 2005.
His defence lawyers however appealed the sentence and
raised 90 grounds consisting of alleged legal, factual and procedural errors
relating to the conviction during appeal hearings held from February 14-18 this
According to the ICC Deputy Prosecutor Mame Mandiaye Niang,
the judgment on Ongwen’s appeal is expected to be made in December this year.
A faction of the LRA is still active in remote areas of the
central Africa Republic [CAR) to date.
According to the Crisis Tracker’s recent report, the LRA
perpetrated one attack in the past 365 days, compared with 29 attacks in the
previous 365 days representing a 96.6 percent decrease in attacks.
It was also reported on June 10 that a Congolese girl escaped
from the LRA's Achaye faction and fled to Zemio, a province in the Central
African Republic after being held captive for 5 years.