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ICC to Investigate Uganda Massacre

Agence France Presse
February 24, 2004

The International Criminal Court, the world's first permanent war crimes court, will investigate the weekend massacre of more than 200 people at a displaced person's camp, the court announced today. "The prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno Ocampo, will investigate the crimes committed on Saturday 21 February 2004 in Barlonya camp, northeastern Uganda," the court said in a statement. Latest reports from Uganda say more then 200 people died Saturday after the attack on Barlonyo, a displaced person's camp near the northern town of Lira, allegedly by rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). ICC spokeswoman Claudia Perdomo said it would be a "preliminary investigation". This is the second such an investigation the court has launched. In July last year Moreno Ocampo announced that the newly created permanent war crimes tribunal had chosen the crisis in Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo as the first case to be tackled by the court. For a preliminary investigation the war crimes prosecutor will gather information from the region to see if there is enough to launch a legal probe. The ICC, which became a legal reality in July of 2003, is the permanent tribunal mandated to try war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. In January this year Moreno Ocampo announced that he was considering launching a probe into the rebel LRA in Uganda, after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni demanded it. Museveni says he has taken personal charge of the war against the LRA - widely denounced for its brutal 17-year campaign, including the abduction of children for their use as soldiers or concubines, and has repeatedly pledged to kill its leaders unless they surrender.

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