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At UN, Chissano Says Council Ready to Defer to Uganda on Kony,  ICC as Well

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, June 20 -- As the Lord's Resistance Army rampages through the Congo, Southern Sudan and the Central African Republic, the UN's envoy to the LRA-affected areas Joaquim Chissano briefed the Security Council on Friday. Afterwards he told Inner City Press that "the Council was ready to consider any decision taken by the government of Uganda" to suspend the indictment of the LRA's Joseph Kony by the International Criminal Court, and put Kony on trial in Uganda instead. Video here, from Minute 7:55.

    Inner City Press asked, why then has Kony not signed the peace agreement? Chissano said that perhaps "Kony needs clarification." Chissano said that recent attacks in Southern Sudan and the Congo are "clearly LRA," and that those in the Central African Republic are "probably" LRA, the "evidence" points that way. Video here, from Minute 3:53. Then Chissano left the stakeout, surrounded by an entourage which did not permit any follow-up questions. Why is  there so little talk about the acts of the government of Uganda?

Joaquim Chissano at the UN, end game for Joseph Kony not shown

  The person who Chissano named as representing Kony, David Matsanga, has said

"We can use the United Nations Security Council resolution and chapter seven to go to the UN Security Council, which the government of Uganda should do as a referral state, to say the UN Security Council, please, the warrants are a threat. Can you remove them from us so that general Joseph Kony and others can come and sign and walk free and assemble and do things? But he has said he is not going to sign an agreement in Juba because he does not feel safe over there."

   Unlike other prosecutorial offices, the ICC appears to make a major distinction based on where its cases come from. If referred by a government, that government retains control to turn the process off and "take it home." That this can imply impunity was not, according to Chissano, much of a concern.  Some call it double standard.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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