In July 2005, the ICC issued sealed arrest warrants for the LRA’s then-top five leaders, Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, Raska Lukwiya, and Dominic Ongwen, for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. Three of them have since allegedly passed away: Lukwiya in 2006, Otti killed on orders from Kony in late 2007, and Okot Odhiambo in 2013. According to the ICC, Otti and Kony are still on a wanted-list. Of the five commanders, only Dominic Ongwen has been sentenced: to 25 years in prison, after being found guilty of 61 crimes against humanity and war crimes. His conviction could mean that people in the Lukodi, Lapul, Abok, Pajule and Odek areas find some justice. But what about the other victims?
In Northern Uganda, the gun has gone silent, but the bullet cartridges are vivid in land disputes, and logs and charcoal dealers in Uganda are also enjoying the peace by depleting the virgin trees the loud guns had protected in the North. Mental health is a big issue in the peaceful North, poverty is sky rocketing, and at night city streets are full of children or 'street gangs' of the war. Many atrocities remain unaccounted for as the hope of a Peace, Justice and Reconciliation Commission sparkles in the hearts of those who desire truth-telling.
The event will be held on 24 November, 13:30-15:00 CET. You can attend in-person at the VU W&N-building, room WN-M655 (6th floor) or online via Zoom. No registration for in-person attendance is needed. To receive the Zoom link, please register here.
Ojok James Onono is a multimedia investigative journalist and poet from Northern Uganda. He has over seven years of experience in the media industry in Uganda and currently works at Gulu University as Assistant Public Relation Officer. He is a 2022 Youth for policy Fellow with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Uganda, and PHE/PED consultant for People –Planet Connection.
Some of the author's online work can be found here: