Examining the use of transitional justice mechanisms to redress gross violations of human rights and international crimes in the northern Uganda conflict
Muwanguzi, Robert Mugagga
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Uganda and her citizens have endured a troubled, violent, conflict-prone history since independence from the British on 9th October 1962. Conflict in Uganda, just like in many an African country, has its primary root causes in the colonial legacy which sowed a fertile ground for several other secondary causes of present day subsisting conflicts. During Uganda's various military conflicts millions have had their human rights and civil liberties violated with impunity. At the end of each conflict and / or crisis, Uganda has had to grapple with the challenge of finding a lasting solution amidst the significant losses made by the country, many ethnic groups and her citizens. No long term viable and efficient solution or mechanism has been introduced or instituted to forestall future conflicts. What appears to have been introduced or instituted are stopgap measures. Since President Yoweri Museveni took over power on 26 January 1986, a military conflict has been raging in northern Uganda and the surrounding areas spanning eastern Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (hereafter: 'DRC'), the Sudan and the Central African Republic (hereafter: 'CAR'). In this decades-old conflict, the war has primarily pitted the Lord's Resistance Army (hereafter: 'LRA') against the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (hereafter: 'UPDF'). Like many conflicts, the more than twenty-year-old contestation has resulted in the gross violations of human rights of millions of people situated across five African states. The human rights violations, which have resulted in the commission of international crimes have been perpetrated and perpetuated with impunity by both warring parties (LRA and UPDF). Although initially an internal conflict, the conflict in northern Uganda has catapulted itself into an international conflict based on the parties involved, the interest generated, the crimes committed and the areas and people affected by it.
- Doctor Legum - LLD