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Uganda to ask ICC to retract war crimes indictments for LRA rebels

[JURIST] The Ugandan government [official website] said Thursday that it will ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] to withdraw its plans to arrest [JURIST report] leaders of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) [BBC backgrounder]. If the indicted LRA leaders agree to the terms of the ongoing truce, reached by a government team in Juba, southern Sudan, and sign a comprehensive peace agreement, Ugandan officials will appeal [JURIST report] to the ICC to retract its arrest warrant for rebel leader Joseph Kony [BBC profile] and four other rebel leaders. Instead, Uganda [JURIST news archive] plans to use its national justice system to prosecute those who have committed crimes during the conflict.

LRA leaders rejected [JURIST report] an earlier offer of amnesty from Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni [official website; BBC profile], saying that accepting amnesty "presupposes surrender". Kony was indicted by the ICC [JURIST report; PDF arrest warrant] along with four LRA lieutenants last October on charges that they orchestrated the killing of thousands of civilians and the enslavement of thousands more children over two decades of conflict with Museveni's government. Xinhua has more.

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