ICC at the ready for Ugandan case

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a step closer to launching its first case, with Uganda President Yoweri Museveni referring the terror wrought by his county’s rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) to ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

Museveni has promised to decide whether to launch a formal investigation in the coming months.

The move is the first time a court state party has referred a case. As such, it is more likely that Moreno-Ocampo will prosecute the resistance army than the suspects in another case in which he has interest, the alleged massacre of civilians in Ituri in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its government had not referred this incident to the ICC, although as a state party the court was able to make preliminary investigations. These have not developed into a full case, while for Uganda, Moreno-Ocampo has ruled that there is “a sufficient basis to start planning for the [court’s] first investigation”.

He has also met with Museveni “to establish the basis for future cooperation”, noting that a key issue “will be locating and arresting the LRA leadership”.