Thomas Kwoyelo

The International Crimes Division of the High Court (ICD) has camped in the Acholi districts of Gulu and Amuru for a week-long community outreach and updating the region about the trail of the former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Commander, Thomas Kwoyelo.

Areas targeted by this campaign include Lamogi Sub-County, Pagak Primary School, Lamogi Local Government Council Hall, and Pabbo Local Government Council Hall, Gulu District Hall, among others.

The campaign that commenced this week is aimed at informing the public about the mandate of ICD and updating the communities on the progress of the ongoing trial of Kwoyelo.

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The ICD teams were led by Lady Justice Margaret Oguli Oumo, Head ICD together with the Ag. Assistant Registrar Esther Rebecca Nasambu. Others in attendance include the Victim Counsels, led by Ms. Amooti Magdalena, Defense team led by Mr. Caleb Alaka and the Prosecution team led by Mr. William Byansi.

Kwoyelo was abducted by LRA on his way to school in 1987 and remained in captivity and later became colonel.

Kwoyelo is currently grappling with 93 counts of murder, aggravated robbery, extensive destruction of property, causing serious injury to body or health and inhuman treatment, rape and torture among others. He is accused of having committed the crimes against the civilian population of northern Uganda, southern Sudan and the northeastern regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The worst attack of the paramilitary group that was under the leadership of Joseph Kony occurred in Haute-Hele Province (DRC) in December 2008, the so called Christmas massacre where over 200 were killed and over 800 house razed down.

The rebels split up in groups to attack the villages Faradje, Batande, Duru, Bangadi and Burgi. They waited until people had gathered for Christmas festivities, then surrounded and killed them with axes, machetes and clubs.

In March 2009, Kwoyelo was injured during hostilities between the Ugandan army and the LRA in DRC and brought into Uganda for medical treatment and subsequently into custody.

His trial however commenced in July 2011 before ICD, a division of Uganda’s High Court however Constitutional Court resolved that the suspect’s trial should stop as it found grounds for the failure by the DPP and the Amnesty Commission to act on Kwoyelo’s application.

In 2015, Supreme Court decided that Kwoyelo’s trail should resume. His is currently trial in Gulu on of the areas where LRA is said to have committed atrocities against humani