International Criminal Court officials meet delegation from Ugandan rebel group

10 March 2008 – Officials from the International Criminal Court (ICC) met today with a delegation from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the Ugandan rebel group whose leadership is under indictment for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed during its protracted conflict with Government forces in the African country.

The LRA delegation and the officials with the ICC registry discussed procedural issues related to the legal representation of the four men from the rebel group who face arrest warrants, according to a media statement issued by the court in The Hague, where it is based.

They also discussed standards for the filing of documents and materials with the court’s registry, a neutral organ which is responsible for providing support, assistance and information to defence counsel.

In October 2005 the ICC’s pre-trial chamber unsealed arrest warrants against Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, Dominic Ongwen and Raska Lukwiya for alleged crimes committed since July 2002 in Uganda. Mr. Lukwiya has since been confirmed dead and the proceedings against him discontinued.

Last week ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo declined to meet with the same delegation of the LRA.

Ugandan Government forces have been fighting the LRA in the north of the country since the mid-1980s and during that conflict the rebels have been notorious for their human rights abuses.

Last month representatives of both Kampala and the LRA signed a series of agreements, including a ceasefire, that could lead to a permanent accord ending the deadly war.

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