3/20/2017

Impunity in the Great Lakes Region

justice is critical to any meaningful peace in the east. Other serious abusers such as Jerome Kakwavu and Kisembo Bahumeka, responsible for serious crimes
in the Ituri region of the DRC, have been promoted to generals rather than being held to account for their abuses. These flawed decisions have sent a message
that abusers will be rewarded rather than punished – a dangerous message to send in Congo. MONUC should be doing all it can politically and militarily to
ensure human rights abusers are held to account.
UGANDA
The ICC has issued arrest warrants for five senior leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) after having accepted Ugandan referral of the situation in the
northern part of the country. The killing on Monday of MONUC forces by the LRA in the Democratic Republic of the Congo underscores the regional nature
of the threat posed by the LRA. This latest loss of life emphasizes the need for states across the Great Lakes to render all necessary assistance to the ICC to
secure the arrests of the indictees. In addition, as part of this Great Lakes initiative, we urge the Security Council in any resolution it adopts to call on Ugandan
authorities to investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute their own military personnel for abuses against civilians. To ensure stability in the long-term,
Uganda should investigate all serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, regardless of the perpetrator, from the beginning of the
conflict in 1986.
BURUNDI
Burundi represents a clear and immediate opportunity for the Security Council to contribute to a meaningful accountability process. While we welcome the
new democratically elected government in Burundi, we are concerned about the lack of progress in creating a Truth Commission and Special Trial Chamber in
the Burundian national justice system as recommended by the Security Council last June in Resolution 1606. The new government shows little will to bring
accused perpetrators to justice for violations of international humanitarian law. We urge the government to set time limits to the grants of “provisional
immunity” made to parties in the civil war and to ensure that the exclusion of serious violations of international humanitarian law from such “provisional
immunity” be rigorously enforced.
In Burundi the legacy of impunity in the past kept alive the anger and fear of disaffected groups, leading to repeated periods of violence. We believe that only
meaningful accountability measures can break the futile cycle and promote the long-term stability of the nation. It is imperative that the Security Council press
forward with the implementation of Resolution 1606 to establish truth and justice mechanisms and that Burundi receive the assistance necessary for these
mechanisms to succeed.
RWANDA
In Rwanda, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda continues to move forward with its completion strategy. As its works draws to a close, the
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