What is the ICC?
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a permanent independent judicial body created by the international community to prosecute crimes such as genocide, other crimes against humanity and war crimes. Its Statute was adopted at an international conference in Rome on 17 July 1998.
3. Prosecution by the ICC
The ICC said that it had recorded at least 2,200 killings and 3,200 abductions between July 2002 and June 2004, in over 850 attacks. The LRA allegedly attacked and pillaged communities in Uganda and Southern Sudan, killing thousands of men, women, boys and girls from different communities, destroying villages and camps and abducting thousands of individuals, especially children.
Following a full investigation, in July 2005 the ICC issued warrants of arrests for Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen.(1) The warrants of arrest referred to crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Uganda since July 2002.
4. The charges against Joseph Kony
Joseph Kony is the leader, chairman and commander of the LRA. According to the ICC arrest warrant, in mid-2002 he allegedly ordered LRA forces to begin a campaign of attacks against civilians in Uganda. During 2003 he allegedly ordered LRA forces to kill, loot and abduct civilians, including those living in camps.
The arrest warrant against him lists 33 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, sexual enslavement, rape and forced enlisting of children.
5. The charges against Vincent Otti
Vincent Otti is vice-chairman and second-in-command of the LRA. According to the ICC arrest warrant, he is alleged to have been in command of a 2003-2004 LRA campaign, which included attacks on local communities and camps for internally displaced people resulting in killings, abductions, rape, sexual enslavement and other crimes.
The arrest warrant against him lists 32 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, sexual enslavement, pillaging and forced enlisting of children.
6. The charges against Okot Odhiambo
Okot Odhiambo is Deputy Army Commander in the LRA. According to the ICC arrest warrants, as a result of Joseph Kony’s orders, in 2004 Okot Odhiambo allegedly commanded two attacks against camps for internally displaced people, resulting in killings, enslavement, recruitment of children and other crimes.
The arrest warrant against him lists 10 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, enslavement and forced enlisting of children.
7. The charges against Dominic Ongwen
Dominic Ongwen is Brigade Commander of the Sinia Brigade of the LRA. According to the ICC arrest warrant, in this capacity he allegedly ordered an attack against a camp for internally displaced people, resulting in killings, abductions, the destruction of houses and other crimes.
The arrest warrant against him lists seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, enslavement and inhumane acts.
8. Where are the suspects?
According to reports, the suspects are moving between Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Sudan. The LRA is believed to have moved its operational base from Sudan to eastern DRC. Many LRA fighters have reportedly been camped in Garamba National Park, in the far northeast of the DRC. Following the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, LRA fighters were to assemble at two assembly points in Sudan.
9. The role of MONUC
The United Nations Security Council established the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) on 30 November 1999.
MONUC has the mandate to "cooperate in national and international efforts to bring to justice perpetrators of grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law" (Resolution 1756 of 15 May 2007). However, nothing in its mandate requires MONUC to arrest and surrender people sought by the ICC.