Coalition for the International Criminal Court
Follow Us: Facebook Twitter
Browse by Region
map Americas Africa Asia and Pacific Europe Middle East and North Africa
> Cases & Situations > Northern Uganda
Northern Uganda
On 29 July 2004, ICC Prosecutor determined that there is a reasonable basis to open an investigation into the situation concerning Northern Uganda, following the referral of the situation by Uganda in December 2003. The decision to open an investigation was reportedly taken after thorough analysis of available information in order to ensure that requirements of the Rome Statute are satisfied.

Stay up to date by signing up for email updates on the Uganda situation (and follow us on Twitter and Facebook).

On 14 October 2005, arrest warrants for crimes against humanity and war crimes were publicly announced and unsealed and were issued on 8 July 2005 by Pre-Trial Chamber II for the five senior leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, Dominic Ongwen, and Raska Lukwiya.

On 30 September 2005, media reports indicated that Dominic Ongwen had been killed. On 6 July 2006, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II unsealed results of DNA tests conducted on the corpse reported to be that of Dominic Ongwen, indicating that the body was not that of Dominic Ongwen.

On 11 July 2007, the proceedings against Raska Lukwiya were terminated following his death. Media have also reported LRA leader Vincent Otti's alleged death.

On 8 November 2007, the ICC Office of the Prosecutor informed the Pre-Trial Chamber that it is taking steps to assess his fate.

On 6 October 2008, the OTP publicly called for renewed efforts to arrest top LRA commanders Joseph Kony, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen “in the light of serious and converging information on attacks by the LRA against civilians in the DRC.” On 21 October 2008, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II requested the DRC to provide information on the measures taken for the execution of these arrest warrants. The same day, the UNSC issued a resolution reminding the international community of the ICC indictments against the LRA. The European parliament meanwhile adopted a resolution on the indictment and bringing to trial of Joseph Kony at the ICC.

In March 2008, the Government of Uganda submitted a response to the Court explaining that “[t]he establishment of the special division of the High Court and the enactment of the relevant legislation shall take place after the signing of the final peace agreement with the Lord’s Resistance Army/Movement. With respect to the impact of these developments on the execution of the arrest warrants, the Government of Uganda stated that the special division of the High Court is not meant to supplant the work of the International Criminal Court and accordingly those individuals who were indicted by the International Criminal Court will [sic] have to be brought before the special division of the High Court for trial.”

On 18 June, 2008, Pre-Trial Chamber II requested further information from the Republic of Uganda, after the reported failure to sign the final peace agreement by the respective parties. In particular, the Chamber requested information as to the steps undertaken by the Republic of Uganda with a view to executing the warrants of arrest.

On 9 July, 2008, the Republic of Uganda responded that the comprehensive peace agreement was indeed not signed; that the Republic of Uganda remained committed to executing the warrants of arrest; and that the Government of Uganda continues to spare no effort in its attempt to secure the cooperation of the DRC in order to trace the LRA in the Garamba National Park, which is on the DRC territory.

In January 2015, Dominic Ongwen surrendered to US forces in CAR and was eventually transferred to the ICC’s custody on 16 January 2015. On 6 February 2015, Pre-Trial Chamber II severed the proceedings against Dominic Ongwen from the case of The Prosecutor v. Joseph Kony et al.

Pre-Trial judges recommended holding the confirmation of charges hearing in Uganda but the ICC Presidency decided against it. The hearing will take place on 21 January 2016 in The Hague.

The situation of Uganda has been assigned to Pre-Trial Chamber II which is composed of Judge Hans-Peter Kaul, Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova and Judge Cuno Tarfusser.

The ICC has established a field office in Kampala, Uganda, to support the operation in Uganda.

Court decisions concerning Uganda can be found on the ICC's website.
Conference Reports and Declarations
Author Date and Title
Silvana Arbia
13 May 2009
Uganda: From referral to Review Conference
28 Aug 2008
UCICC Report on the symposium for judicial officers on international criminal law in Africa
26 Aug 2008
UCICC Report on a moot on the ICC for Makerere University students
Quotes and Statements
Author Date and Title
Global Voices
08 Mar 2012
Uganda: Can a Viral Video Really #StopKony?