n African Journal on Conflict Resolution - Amnesty and International Law : the case of the Lord's Resistance Army insurgents in Northern Uganda

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-6997


The conflict in northern Uganda is about to enter its twentieth year since it began in 1986. As at the time of writing, there is no sign that the conflict is about to come to an end. For a long time, the government has tried the military option to end the conflict but to no avail. However, recently the government under pressure from local and international civil society organizations and the Acholi population opted to talk peace with the rebels. The proponents of peaceful methods to end the conflict have mooted the Acholi traditional reconciliation mechanisms of and , and the government instituted amnesty to try and lure the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) from the bush. In their efforts, the peaceful methods proponents have incessantly campaigned against the on-going International Criminal Court (ICC) investigations into the LRA activities. Meanwhile however the LRA has continued to commit egregious international crimes, which its top leadership must answer for. Whilst the abducted and conscripted LRA foot soldiers (mainly children) may be amnestied, customary international law demands that the top leadership of the LRA must be punished for the crimes that have been and continue to be committed in the conflict.

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