[JURIST] Ugandan Minister of Internal Affairs Ruhakana Ruganda told IRIN News Thursday that Uganda intends to "engage" the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website; JURIST news archive] in an effort to obtain review of charges against leaders of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) [MIPT backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Ruganda said that while the Ugandan government does not condone impunity for violators of human rights, the ICC needs to be sympathetic to the peace process in Uganda. Uganda hopes to convince the ICC to agree to a balance of accountability and reconciliation, with the LRA leaders held accountable within Ugandan jurisdiction. Uganda [JURIST news archive] is expected to approach the ICC only after the it has reached a final settlement with the LRA.
The Ugandan government, which is currently in the process of negotiating a peace deal with the LRA to end two decades of civil war, has found the ICC's refusal to cancel indictments against LRA leaders to be a major obstacle [JURIST reports] in finalizing a peace agreement. LRA leaders fear that they will be held criminally responsible for allegedly orchestrating the killing of thousands of civilians and the enslavement of thousands more children. IRIN News has more.