Wed, 29 Nov 2023

ICC drops 18-year warrant for dead LRA commander

19 Nov 2023, 02:05 GMT+10

KAMPALA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague has withdrawn the arrest warrant issued 18 years ago for former commander Vincent Otti of the rebel group Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) following confirmation of his death.

"All available evidence indicates that Mr. Otti was killed in a remote area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in October 2007," the ICC said in a statement on Friday.

"In addition to the information previously submitted before the Chamber, the Prosecution appended two witness statements and explained that the only eyewitness to Mr Otti's killing must also be assumed dead," the ICC added.

Col. Deo Akiiki, the Ugandan military spokesperson, confirmed by telephone to Xinhua on Saturday that the withdrawal of Otti's arrest warrant is inevitable.

"We are aware that Otti was killed by his superior, Joseph Kony, who later confirmed this during peace talks between 2007-2008," Akiiki said. "Nevertheless, the arrest warrant for Kony remains active."

Otti, the second-in-command of the LRA rebel outfit led by Joseph Kony, operated in northern Uganda for two decades from the late 1980s. The Ugandan military pursued the rebels through South Sudan and the DRC, concluding in the forests of the Central African Republic.

He was accused of 11 counts of crimes against humanity and 21 counts of war crimes committed in northern Uganda after July 2002.

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