Place: International Crimes Division
Case Number: Case No 2 of 2010
Accused: Thomas Kwoyelo alias Latoni, former LRA commander
Civil parties: Victims from Amuru District in Northern Uganda
Summary of the Case : Thomas Kwoyelo is a former colonel of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), who allegedly led a series of attacks, between 1993 and 2005, in the Abera Village, the Parubanga Parish, Pabbo Sub country and Kilak county, which are now part of the Amuru District. The attacks resulted in abductions, killings, maiming and the torture of dozens of people, including women and children. In 2011, the Constitutional Court granted Kwoyelo an amnesty certificate, which the Supreme Court overruled in 2015. The case has been pending since 2016 before the International Crimes Division, a domestic court with jurisdiction over crimes against humanity and war crimes in Uganda.
Charges-counts : 93
- Hostage taking
- Robbery with aggravation
- Crimes against humanity
- Cruel treatment
- Outrages against dignity
- Violence to life and person
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. The government of Uganda then made a commitment to bring to book 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, through which 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 Article 3 common 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, after 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 to the International Crimes Division (ICD). It has refined its methodology in 2018, when the trial moved from the pre-trial to the trial phase. Observation is implemented by ASF and its partner FJDI.