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Justice Mukiibi Asks Gov't to Bring More Ex-LRA Combatants to Trial

Justice Mukiibi said he will leave the court without a functional mechanism for witness protection in the hands of his deputy Lady Justice Margaret Oguli Oumo who has also been listed by the Judiciary to retire this year.
15 May 2019 14:59
Justice Moses Mukiibi (Middle Front Row) and Justice Margaret Oguli Oumo (L) Infront of ICD Building In Kololo

Audio 3

The head of the International Crimes Division of the High Court Justice Moses Mukiibi is asking government to bring more ex-combatants of the Lord's Resistance Army to trial at the war crimes court.             

Justice Mukiibi says those who benefited from Amnesty are not obscured from prosecution at the International Crimes Division of the High Court following the 2012 Constitutional Court interpretation.

Justice Mukiibi says by favouring national peace over prosecution, government is denying many victims of the Lord's Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda justice.  He says the blanket Amnesty Act only covered offences against the state such as waging war and rebellion but not crimes against civilian population.      

  

//Cue in: “In the Constitutional Appeal…. 

Cue out: “…. ex-combatants to books”//     

He based his argument on the Constitutional Appeal Number 01 of 2012 in the case Thomas Kwoyelo Verses Uganda in which the judges interpreted that International Crimes could not have been the subject of the Amnesty Act Cap 294.       

 Justice Mukiibi made the appeal while launching a User Guide to the International Crimes’ Division of the High Court from the seat of the Court in Kololo on Wednesday. He used the occasion to announce his retirement from the Court in August this year.       

      

Justice Mukiibi said the user book was printed to increase public awareness of the works of the International Crimes Division of the High Court. He said the guide is one of the last projects he worked on ahead of his retirement.       

The judge said the works of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Northern Uganda has dwarfed the works of the domestic poorly facilitated war crimes court.      

//Cue in: “We should not be…. 

Cue out: “….to achieve this”//     

 

Justice Mukiibi said the blanket Amnesty Act has suffocated dispensation of justice to victims of International Crimes committed during the Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.  

   

//Cue in: “The Amnesty Act has… 

Cue out: “…. the denial of justice”// 

   

He said he will leave the court without a functional mechanism for witness protection in the hands of his deputy Lady Justice Margaret Oguli Oumo who has also been listed by the Judiciary to retire this year.          

Justice Mukiibi will be remembered for amongst others presiding over the trial of the 2010 terrorism suspects arrested for the Kampala twin bombing at the Ethiopian Restaurant in Makindye Division and Lugogo Rugby Grounds which claimed 76 lives and left scores injured. 

   

The International Crimes Division of the High Court was set up under the Juba Peace Process between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the government as an accountability mechanism for the crimes committed during the Lord’s Resistance Army conflict which started in 1986.  

   

It came into effect under legal notice number 10 0f 2011 which transformed the High Court War Crimes Division practice direction of 2008 to try individuals alleged to bear particular responsibility for the most serious crimes amounting to International crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, terrorism, human trafficking, piracy amongst others.     

 

Since the International Crimes Division of the High Court ICD was founded, the Court has tried terrorism suspects alongside the first war crime suspect Thomas Kwoyelo, a former commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army arrested in 2009 from Garamba Forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo.