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ICC Registrar Concludes Visit to Uganda


The International Criminal Court (ICC) Registrar Osvaldo Zavala Giler has concluded a three-day official visit to Uganda.

Zavala Giler arrived in the country over the weekend for the first time since his election as the ICC Registrar in February last year.

Between 13 to 15 May, the Registrar held meetings with several government officials, members of the diplomatic community stakeholders, and members of the affected communities from northern Uganda and Kampala.

During his visit, Zavala Giler met the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Uganda Henry Okello Oryem as well as the Deputy Attorney General Jackson Karugaba Kafuuzi, in Kampala.

In a press release statement shared on Thursday, Zavala Giler underlined the importance of continued strong cooperation in the common fight against impunity for mass atrocities.

He also met with the UN Resident Coordinator Susan Ngongi Namondo and expressed his gratitude for the strong support the UN provides to the ICC in situation countries.

While addressing journalists at a press briefing on Tuesday in Kampala, the registrar gave updates on the situation of the reparation order in the case of jailed former Lord’s Resistance Army rebel commander Dominic Ongwen. 

In February, the ICC ordered a total of Euros 52.429 million approximately 222 billion Shillings in compensation to the thousands of victims of Ongwen, one of the senior LRA commanders who is serving a 25-year jail sentence in Norway.

However, on April 22, Ongwen’s lawyers filed a notice of appeal, requesting the Appeals Chamber to suspend the implementation of the reparation order until the judges pass a verdict.

Zavala Giler noted that while Ongwen’s defence lawyers filed an appeal in the court asking the Appeals Chamber to suspend the implementation of the reparation order, the registry is moving ahead with its implementation since no decision has yet been made.

“Since there is no decision from the appeals chamber yet, all administrative procedures and procedural preparation as provided in the reparation orders are underway, so we are already implementing the reparation order unless otherwise instructed by the appeals chambers,” he said.

The court also ordered a symbolic payment of 750 euros to the estimated 49,772 direct and indirect victims of Ongwen’s atrocities. Ongwen was however found indigent by the court to pay the reparation, a role that will be played by the ICC Trust Fund for Victims which will be in charge of raising the required funds to implement the provision of the reparation order.

Zavala Giler also gave out an update on the status of the upcoming confirmation of charges hearing in the case of Joseph Kony, the elusive leader of the LRA on October 15 this year. Kony who has been on the ICC arrest warrant list since 2005 is accused of committing 33 counts of war crimes and crimes against Humanity allegedly committed in 2003 and 2004 in northern Uganda at the height of the LRA rebellion.

The ICC registrar on Tuesday noted that they are currently in the process of identifying a lawyer to represent Kony’s rights during the confirmation of charges hearing should he fail to appear in person.

He also noted that even after the court confirms the charges against Kony, a full trial won’t be instituted in his absence.

The situation in Uganda was referred to the ICC by the Ugandan government in December 2003 and the Prosecutor opened an investigation in July 2004. On 1 December 2023, the Prosecutor announced that the investigation phase in the Uganda situation has been concluded. 


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ICC Registrar Concludes Visit to Uganda

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