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ICC President Begins Uganda Visit

The judge will meet thousands of LRA victims now receiving assistance from the Trust Fund For Victims.The fund which is an independent arm of the International Criminal Court offers interim support to victims whose issues can not wait until reparations are ordered by court.
Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, the International Criminal Court (ICC) President.

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The President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, has met the court's staff in Kampala ahead of her planned visit to Northern Uganda.

Details of the meeting could not be revealed with ICC Outreach Coordinator, Maria Kamara saying it was administrative in nature.

Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi is expected to meet thousands of victims now benefiting from assistance by the Trust Fund For Victims.

Trust Fund for Victims supports and implements programmes that address harm resulting from genocide, crimes of humanity and war crimes.

The Trust fund for Victims according to Kamara has been providing interim assistance to the mutilated victims whose issues cannot wait until when the trial of the alleged perpetrators is completed.

According to the Rome Statute under which the ICC was established, reparations to victims of atrocities can only be accorded to victims at the end of a trial when court has ordered reparations.

But even if there is no trial like the case of Uganda, the Trust Fund can carry out activities to provide assistance through physical, psychological, and material support to victims and their families victims.

Over forty two thousand victims of the LRA insurgency are beneficiaries of the Trust Fund For Victims. The Trust Fund is an independent body associated with the ICC under the Rome Statute.

Judge Fernández de Gurmendi's visit to Gulu according to Kamara is aimed at raising awareness about the Trust Fund For Victims.

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She is also expected to meet with government officials in Kampala. It is not clear whether she will meet President Museveni who of recent has been critical of the Hague-based court.

Fernández de Gurmendi is also expected to meet a number of envoys like Japanese Ambassador, Kazuaki Kameda and attend a reception hosted by Ireland's Ambassador,  Dónal Cronin.

A statement from the ICC Outreach office in Kampala says during the reception, Judge Fernández de Gurmendi will engage with members of the diplomatic community and officials.

ICC Investigations in Uganda opened in 2004 with regard to alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity mainly in Northern Uganda since 1 July 2002, the date on which the Court's jurisdiction begins.

The ICC issued its first ever arrest warrant in this situation, against Joseph Kony and other alleged LRA commanders. Dominic Ongwen, one of the five top LRA commanders indicted in 2005, is on trial at The Hague.

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