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Home >> World
UPDATED: 17:04, August 31, 2006
Uganda to appeal to UN court to pardon rebel leaders
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The Ugandan government has planned to appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague not to arrest the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leaders if they respect the terms of the ongoing truce.

Ruhakana Rugunda, head of the government peace team in Juba, southern Sudan, and Minister of Interior Affairs, quoted by state- owned New Vision daily on Thursday, said the government is in contact with the ICC and the country's position is clear.

"I am sure that we shall reach an amicable solution to this problem with the ICC. What Ugandans want now is peace," Rugunda said.

"If rebel leader Joseph Kony and his colleagues come home under our agreed terms in Juba, ICC will have nothing to do with him," he added.

The UN's court issued five warrants for the arrest of LRA leaders including Kony and his deputy Vincent Otti. But the Ugandan government agreed to offer blanket amnesty to the LRA leadership in return for their will to draft and sign a comprehensive peace agreement.

The court has insisted that the rebel leaders face justice for the war crimes they have committed in the war-ravaged northern Uganda where a 20-year-conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead and over 1.4 million people homeless.

The Ugandan government insisted that it would use the traditional justice system to prosecute those found guilty of committing atrocities during the conflict.

Source: Xinhua

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