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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Trial Justice by Tim Allen. There is no doubt that appalling crimes have occurred here. Over a million people have been forced to live in overcrowded displacement camps under the control of the Ugandan army.

ICC trial: Uganda's war victims seek justice

Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army has abducted thousands, many of them children and has systematically tortured, raped, maimed and killed. Nevertheless, the ICC has confronted outright hostility from a wide range of groups, including traditional leaders, representatives of the Christian Churches and non-governmental organizations. Even the Ugandan government, which invited the court to become involved, has been expressing serious reservations. Tim Allen assesses the controversy. While recognizing the difficulties involved, he shows that much of the antipathy towards the ICC's intervention is misplaced.

He also draws out important wider implications of what has happened. Criminal justice sets limits to compromise and undermines established procedures of negotiation with perpetrators of violence. Events in Uganda have far reaching implications for other war zones - and not only in Africa.

Amnesties and peace talks may never be quite the same again. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Trial Justice , please sign up.

Ongwen ICC trial: Lord’s Resistance Army in the dock – why it matters

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But the trial is as much about one man as it is about the thirty years war that began in Uganda in the s and continues today on the margins of Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ongwen is now at the center of debates over justice and reconciliation in this conflict as his trial moves forwards.

This landmark case promises to shed light on the conflict in northern Uganda and will be another test of the young international justice institution.

Ongwen was taken into custody in Central African Republic in January According to Ongwen, he left the rebel group after being conscripted into it almost thirty years earlier, surrendering to state forces in Central African Republic. Others have claimed he was captured. Nor is it directed toward the verification of truth. Law is solely directed toward judgment. The LRA conflict is a good example, as Ongwen will likely be the only person to stand trial, and the four attacks for which he is charged are merely the ones with enough evidence to make it into court.

This is shocking considering that the war has ravaged northern Uganda for the better part of three decades, resulting in thousands of killings and abductions and the displacement of millions at the hands of both the army and the rebels. The infamous rebel leader Joseph Kony is still in hiding; most other rebel commanders are dead or have been granted amnesty as part of a counterinsurgency demobilization effort. The Ugandan military has never been investigated for its role in the conflict.

As such, Ongwen and the four attacks he is being tried for bear the weight of the quest for justice for countless victims of untold violations.

Countries and CICC cases

He himself was abducted as a child and forced into the rebel army in the late s. Ongwen has had to live his life in the context of everyday violence. And to what extent is one held responsible for failure in that pursuit? The uneasy act of prosecuting a victim-turned-perpetrator, and the continued failure to hold the Ugandan state accountable, are some of the reasons that justice here is seen as a fiction, or as justice only partially realized.

For victims of other attacks--for victims of Ugandan state violence, and for victims in South Sudan, Central African Republic, and the Congo--justice still seems out of reach.

Lord's Resistance Army insurgency - Wikipedia

The pursuit of justice, after all, is the quest to establish a fair and equitable society for all. In northern Uganda, where the president whose ascendancy provoked the LRA into existence is still in power thirty years later and increasingly authoritarian, there is little in the way of justice. The people of the other three countries have fared even worse, both in terms of justice and peace, as each state has seen numerous crises and wars in recent years.

This requires much more than a single trial. Concerns about justice aside, the courtroom is a place that produces a history. The case of Dominic Ongwen will be a chance for histories to be told, challenged, and recreated for a war that is often represented in very different ways. While the trial has only just begun and we have yet to hear the extensive arguments and testimonies of the case, he opening statements, which occurred last month, and the confirmation of charges a year ago, offer a glimpse of what is to come.


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In contrast, the government was depicted as a well-intentioned but under-resourced force for good, an ally in the Global War on Terror, and a state that needed help in bringing peace to its population. The prosecutor relegates the act of displacement into the passive tense, no less.

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This is not unexpected in the trial of a rebel leader, but it nonetheless elides the role of state violence in the broader narrative being created. Unsurprisingly, the prosecution at times follows the official discourse closely; after all, much of the evidence presented in the confirmation of charges hearings by the prosecution had been gathered by the Ugandan military as a part of its counterinsurgency.

Still, there are moments when this discourse is upended or subverted. The prosecution, for example, admitted that the LRA had a political agenda--something the official discourse denies. The ICC is unique in that, in addition to the prosecution and defense, victims have legal representation.


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