AMNESTY ACT: MPs To Consult War Victims

Internal Affairs Minister Hillary Onek signed the law repelling
Internal Affairs Minister Hillary Onek signed the document repealing a section that guaranteed amnesty to those who renounce rebellion

The Defence and Internal Affairs committee of Parliament will next week head to Gulu district to carry out consultations on the Amnesty Act.

The committee chairperson Milton Muwuma says they are in their final consideration of Clause 2 of the Amnesty Act.

Muwuma says they are going to meet returnees including former combatants in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels during consultations. Muwuma says the meeting to seek the former combatants’ views shall include Brigadier Kenneth Banya, a top LRA commander who was captured by the army in 2004 in Atiak.
Simon Mulongo, the vice chairperson of the committee, says they would also like to meet victims of the war such as those who were maimed.

In May 2012, Internal Affairs Minister Hillary Onek signed a statutory instrument repealing Section II of the Amnesty Act 2000 that guaranteed amnesty to rebels who renounce rebellion and return home.

Deputy Attorney General Fred Ruhindi also came out to say that there would be amnesty only to children abducted and who are not part of the rebel leadership. This denied amnesty to former rebels like Thomas Kwoyelo and Caesar Acellam who were captured in combat in D R Congo and Central African Republic respectively.

Kwoyelo has since challenged his trial for war crimes and his denial of amnesty but he still remains in jail. He has petitioned the African Court of Human Rights to challenge what his lawyers call illegal incarceration.

Ruhindi said that the Amnesty Law in Uganda was not in conformity with International legal standards and the Rome Statute which establishes the International Criminal Court.

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