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UPDF ready for war crimes investigations

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The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) Spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda has said the army and government of Uganda are not worried about being investigated in the ongoing International Criminal Court (ICC) investigations regarding war crimes in Northern Uganda during the 20-year insurgency.

Lt Col Ankunda was reacting was reacting to statements attributed to the ICC Outreach Officer for Uganda and Kenya Ms Maria Mabinty Kamara, while responding to a question by journalists as to why the ‘investigations are one sided only targeting LRA fighters yet there allegations that the UPDF was involved in the crimes against humanity’.

“We are gathering evidence, statements and complaints in regard to theLRA war. This is because investigations in as far as the LRA war is concerned are still ongoing,” said Ms Kamara was quoted as saying at a press conference today, held to announce the pre-trail proceedings of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) commander Dominic Ongwen, an ICC war crimes indictee.

But Ankunda said: “I didn’t hear the statement myself but the Government of Uganda will cooperate with those interested in investigating the war in Northern Uganda.”

The pre-trial proceedings of Ongwen start tomorrow and are set to endJanuary 27.

Ongwen, one of the former LRA commanders surrendered to the Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic in January 2015, and was handed over to the Hague-based ICC by the Americans, who had been involved in hunting down the LRA rebels.

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