Tuesday, January 09, 2007

You and what army?

In all honesty, I'm not certain I could locate Uganda on a map (without the aid of Wikipedia) but I found Chris McGreal's article on the people's ambivalence to the establishment of an International Criminal Court for Uganda informative.

Father Carlos Rodriguez, a Roman Catholic priest who has worked closely with the victims of the conflict [in Uganda], said that people lost faith in the [International Criminal Court (ICC)] when they discovered it had no powers of arrest.

"When it became public that the ICC would take up the case of northern Uganda, a lot of people said, we are tired of this killing and let the ICC come and arrest Kony. Then they were told the ICC doesn't have a police force or an army so then they said what's the point?"

He added: "There is also a moral dilemma about the rebels. People say they hate the rebels but then they say our sons are rebels because they were abducted. The real view is anything that stops the war. It's been going on for 20 years. People have gone through social torture. They want an end to this nightmare." |Guardian|
Sometimes goodwill is not enough, results matter and I can see why these war-weary people are more interested in peace than in recriminations. War crimes trials are always going to be contentious and I can see how bungled war crimes trials could fan the embers of hate in a divided country.

It's important to punish war criminals, but wars are messy affairs and it's often hard to tell the good guys from the bad in the aftermath of a war, especially a long-standing civil war.

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