In a shocking development, Uganda is currently investigating allegations that a former senior official from the tInternational Criminal Court funded the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army.
The country’s attorney general, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, revealed these claims on Monday, sparking intense interest and scrutiny from both local and international communities.
The individual at the centre of this investigation is Brigid Inder, a special adviser on gender to the former ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda. In a statement posted on an undisclosed platform, Inder vehemently denied these allegations, calling them “sensational and untrue.” Nevertheless, the seriousness of the accusations has compelled Uganda to conduct a thorough inquiry into the matter.
According to a press release from a lawyer representing former child soldiers of the LRA, a significant number of victims have come forward with claims that between 2006 and 2017, Brigid Inder facilitated and financed the LRA, with a specific focus on their leader, Joseph Kony. These allegations suggest that Inder played a role in providing funds to purchase weapons and support the group’s activities.
The LRA, led by Joseph Kony, is notorious for its violent and brutal campaign that started more than three decades ago. Kony aimed to establish his own version of the Ten Commandments and unleashed a reign of terror not only in northern Uganda but also across borders into neighbouring countries. The group’s ruthlessness and disregard for human life have earned it a nefarious reputation globally.
In response to these grave allegations, Uganda’s attorney general, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, expressed the seriousness of the matter. He stated that the relevant authorities have received information regarding the alleged involvement of the ICC official in funding the LRA’s activities. Uganda is taking these accusations with the severity they deserve and is committed to conducting a thorough investigation.
In a statement released on September 21, Inder, the former executive director of the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice and a key figure in the peace talks between the LRA and Uganda’s government, strongly denies the allegations made against her.
“I want to make it clear that I have never had any contact with Mr Joseph Kony. There is no truth to the claim that I gave him money in envelopes. Furthermore, I have never been involved in any activities that support or promote the military aspirations and conflict-related actions of the LRA,” she stated. She went on to explain that these accusations originated from a disgruntled employee who was terminated from WIGJ due to misconduct in 2014.
It is important to note that Kony’s rebellion resulted in over 100,000 fatalities and approximately 60,000 children being abducted. The conflict extended beyond Uganda and impacted Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Central African Republic.
In 2005, The Hague-based ICC issued an arrest warrant for Kony based on allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The attorney general further emphasised the gravity of the charges, asserting that if found to be true, the anonymous official in question will face prosecution. Uganda aims to ensure justice for the victims who have suffered at the hands of the LRA and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.