Global Policy Forum

Kony Denied Amnesty


By Apollo Mubiru and Cyprian Musoke

New Vision - Kampala
April 20, 2006

Parliament on Tuesday passed the Amnesty Amendment Bill (2003), which excludes Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) chief Joseph Kony and his top commanders from being eligible for amnesty under the Act.

Internal affairs minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, who tabled the Amnesty (Amendment) Bill 2003, said Kony and his top commanders had persistently ignored the Government's offer to talk peace. Besides Kony, others who are ineligible for amnesty are Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, Dominic Ongwen and Raska Lukwiya.

The International Criminal Court last year issued an arrest warrant for the five after they were indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Bill gives the minister powers to table a statutory instrument with approval of Parliament or any person who is not eligible for amnesty. Rugunda told MPs who were earlier opposed to the Bill that the doors for peace talks were still open. He maintained that the amendment was meant to exclude the authors of the war, who have persistently refused to talk peace with the Government.

The parliamentary committee on defence and internal affairs chaired by Amon Muzoora (Rwampara) scrutinised the Bill. Rugunda allayed MPs' fears, who had argued that excluding Kony from eligibility would mean opening another war to the people of northern. "We want the rebels to know that the door is still open", He said.

More Information on International Justice
More Information on Joseph Kony
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