ICC prosecutor ends Uganda war crimes investigations

THE HAGUE (Reuters) -The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday said he would not pursue any new cases of possible war crimes in Uganda, but would continue the case against the fugitive former warlord Joseph Kony.

“Today, I have made the decision that, beyond the outstanding case against Mr Kony, my office will not pursue new lines of inquiry in the situation in Uganda,” ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said in a statement.

The ICC prosecutor had been investigating war crimes and crimes against humanity in Uganda since 2004 and issued five arrest warrants for top commanders of the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), including Kony.

Three of the warrants were withdrawn after the deaths of the suspects. Only Dominic Ongwen, a former Ugandan child soldier turned LRA commander, was ever convicted by the ICC. In 2021, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for crimes including rape, sexual enslavement, child abduction, torture and murder.

Prosecutors are trying to revive the case against Kony by requesting a hearing on the charges they want to bring against the fugitive warlord in his absence.

Led by Kony, the LRA terrorized Ugandans for nearly 20 years as it battled the government of President Yoweri Museveni from bases in northern Uganda and neighbouring countries. It has now largely been wiped out.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer and Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Alex Richardson)