Uganda To Grant Accellam Amnesty?
The Uganda government’s decision to extend the Amnesty Act 2000 for 12 months has raised fears LRA leader Joseph Kony’s Field Commander Maj. Gen. Caesar Accellam could be granted Amnesty.
The Uganda Media Centre has Friday said the extension came after the current Act had expired.
"The Minister for Internal Affairs Hon. Hillary Onek on May 25 2012 issued statutory instruments extending the Act for more 12," said Media Centre boss Fred Opolot.
This, according to the minister, will assist those who surrender to be resettled and the continued demobilization of the same group.
On May 22, The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Richard Butera said Accellam was likely to face trial for war crimes as long as evidence to prosecute him was provided.
He also argued the Amnesty Act had expired, leaving Accellam vulnerable.
“The DPP wishes to state that the captured LRA top Commander Maj. Gen. Caesar Accellam who was recently captured in combat in the Central Africa Republic will be investigated and the prosecution of the case will be taken on its merit and on the basis of evidence available,” said Butera.
Accellam was captured on May 13, along the banks of River Mbou in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Considered by UPDF as one of the most dangerous commanders of Kony, Accellam is still in the hands of the military.
“However, it must also be noted that senior LRA officers involved in gross human rights violations do not benefit from amnesty because of their seniority in command and control,” he added.
“If Accellam falls in that category, the issue will be assessed on evidence available,” he further stated.
Sources in the military say Accellam could be let free due to old age, ill-health and agreeing to cooperate with security services in the hunt of his former boss Kony.
Several activists have called on government to prosecute the rebel for atrocities committed in Northern Uganda.
The Amnesty Act 2000 provides for amnesty to Ugandans involved in acts of a war-like nature in various parts of the country and other connected purposes.
"It is the expressed desire of the people of Uganda to end armed hostilities, reconcile with those who have caused suffering and rebuild their communities," said Opolot.
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Updated on 2013-05-09 09:25
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