The Government of Uganda, the ICC Arrest Warrants for the LRA Leaders and the Juba Peace Talks: 2006-2008
17 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 4, 2013
In December 2003, the government of Uganda formally referred the situation in northern Uganda to the International Criminal Court (ICC). After investigations lasting one year, in July 2005, the ICC issued warrants of arrest for five Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commanders on various counts including crimes against humanity. In June 2006, the government of Uganda and the LRA, formally begun peace negotiations at Juba, South Sudan under the mediation of the government of South Sudan. However, as the talks progressed towards conclusion, the arrest warrants became a stumbling block on the final signing of the peace agreement. The LRA leadership, especially the overall leader Joseph Kony, argued that he would never sign a final peace agreement unless the arrest warrants were first removed. President Museveni, in the hope of motivating the LRA to sign the final peace agreement, started reassuring the group that the warrants of arrest would be removed. This paper discusses the interests of certain key actors in the talks especially, the LRA, the government of Uganda and the Government of South Sudan, to have the warrants removed. It also discusses the different ways, based in the Rome Statute of the ICC, how the warrants could have been suspended or withdrawn. It concludes by observing that President Museveni’s assurances to the LRA that the warrants of arrest would be removed once the final peace agreement was signed, did not convince the latter, leading to the unsuccessful closure the Juba Peace process.
Keywords: ICC, Juba, Kony, LRA
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation