Moses Crispus Okello of the Refugee Law Project in Uganda shares his thoughts about the effects of the International Criminal Court’s justice mandate during the ongoing conflict with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and its effect on the balance between peace and justice.
The current case in the International Criminal Court with former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen is causing some controversy as although many want to see him charged and sent to prison in the Hague, there are just as many who believe for justice to be served, he should be sent back to Uganda to face traditional justice, and to be forgiven.
Ongwen was a young boy when he was made a child soldier, but he became one of the top commanders of Joseph Kony’s rebel force, The Lord’s Resistance Army.
Dominic Ongwen has been charged with 70 counts of war crimes and is the first of 5 LRA arrest warrants to be tried by the Court.
So the question comes down to two things really, is Ongwen a victim or a perpetrator? And do we follow international justice or traditional justice mechanisms? And I guess there’s an issue concerning criminal justice and social justice… Not an easy call to make.
What’s your opinion on justice and how do you think Ongwen or Kony should be treated?