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LRA infighting kills Uganda rebel wanted by ICC: report

[JURIST] Internecine conflict among factions of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) [MIPT backgrounder; JURIST news archive] in Uganda has killed a rebel commander wanted [arrest warrant] by International Criminal Court [official website] prosecutors, according to sources speaking to Reuters Sunday. Okot Odhiambo had been charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes associated with the LRA attacks on Ugandan refugee camps in 2003 and 2004.

Sources say that disagreements over a pending peace deal between the LRA and the Ugandan government prompted the infighting, as a result of which LRA leader Joseph Kony [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] failed to attend a signing ceremony this past week on the remote Sudan-Congo border. Kony fired the head of his negotiating team earlier in the week, citing a need for stronger guarantees of safety and financial security in the final deal. Kony was indicted [ICC materials; JURIST report] by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity in 2005 but has requested that the ICC indictments be withdrawn in exchange for his cooperation. The Ugandan government has said it would use a traditional mediation system [JURIST report] or a special war crimes court [JURIST report] to counter the arrest warrants issued by the ICC, but has acknowledged that any decision to drop international charges would have to be approved by judges at The Hague. Reuters has more.

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