Locals to Watch Entire Dominic Ongwen’s Trial

Locals and victims from the war affected areas of Northern Uganda will closely follow the trial of the former Lord Resistance Army (LRA) war lord Dominic Ongwen in The Hague thanks to support from Denmark and International Criminal Court (ICC)

The Danish Embassy in Kampala and ICC today signed off the deal under the Access to Justice Project at the Embassy offices as part of events to mark the International Justice Day held every July 17.

This agreement was signed between the Danish Ambassador to Uganda Herman Von Hebel and the Registrar of ICC Mogens Pedersen in the Presence of Archbishop Baptist Odama, Paramount Chief of Acholi Rwot David Onen Achana, members of the civil society as well as Political leaders from the Northern Uganda.

Under the arrangement, local people and other stakeholders from war affected areas of Northern Uganda will get full access to the trial aimed to last 1 year. The project will cost 210,000 Euros.

Giant Televisions screens will be fixed in 23 parishes to enable locals follow the Ongwen trial. There will also be live radio shows on daily developments of the trial; journalists will get a chance to participate in the trial and afterwards they will be able to share with their respective audiences

Influential leaders like religious leaders, political leaders, civil society members and cultural leaders from the war affected areas will get a facilitated trip to Hague and after they will return back and share their experience with their people.

The Danish Ambassador Mogens Pedersen said that bringing the trial closer to people will grant people an opportunity to the victims to understand how the trial process operates.

“It will enable the locals to acknowledge the process of international justice among all locals and journalists will report from an informed point of view”

The ICC Registrar Herman Von Hebel said the project is hoped to ensure that they address the high demand for information on the Ongwen trial as expressed by the locals through media.

“I managed to attend one of the screening sessions of Ongwen trial in Northern Uganda and the turn up was overwhelming,” she said.

They also hope to use the program to boost people’s confidence in the ICC.

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