The International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court of Uganda was established in July 2008, as part of the fulfilment of the Juba Agreement on Accountability and Reconciliation, negotiated between the government of Uganda and the Lords’ Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group led by Joseph Kony. At that time, the government of Uganda made a commitment to prosecute those who had committed crimes during the two decade-conflict in Northern Uganda. The ICD has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, piracy, human trafficking, terrorism and other international crimes, as mandated under the International Criminal Court Act of 2010, which through ratification of the Rome Statue was domesticated.
Currently the ICD is hearing the case of Thomas Kwoyelo, alias Latoni, a former commander in the LRA. A total of 93 counts have been charged against the accused, including charges of crimes against humanity and violations of Common Article 3 to the Geneva conventions under customary international law, alongside other offences under the Penal Code Act of Uganda. It is alleged that these crimes were committed in Northern Uganda in the current Amuru District during the conflict between the LRA and the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF). The accused has been facing trial before the Division since July 2011, though it was suspended until 2016, when the Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Constitutional Court in which the accused had been held to be entitled to amnesty under the Amnesty Act of 2000.
ASF has been involved in monitoring this trial since 2016, when the case was referred back to the International Crimes Division (ICD). The observation methodology was refined in 2018 when the trial moved from the pre-trial to the trial phase. This observation work is carried out by ASF and its partner, FJDI.