The Hague. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said they are still hunting for Vincent Otti, 10 years after the second-in-command of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels was pronounced dead.
“There is no sufficient information to prove that he’s dead,” Ms Romina Morello, an associate external relations cooperation officer, told Ugandan community leaders, civil society and journalist in The Hague yesterday.
In October 2005, the Hague-based court issued arrest warrants against Kony and four of his top commanders for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in northern Uganda.
The charges include of murder, rape, sexual enslavement, mutilation and the recruitment of child soldiers.
Those indicted included Otti, Dominic Ongwen (now facing trial in The Hague), Okot Odhiambo, and Raska Lukwiya.
Okot and Lukwiya were confirmed dead but the ICC does not believe the narrative that Otti was killed by Kony.
Mr Isaac Okwir, a representative of civil society organisation from Uganda, told Daily Monitor that he was surprised that the ICC still believes Otti is alive.
“Following my interaction with the victims’ community, including those who were once in captivity, they don’t understand the ICC when they say Vincent Otti is still being wanted by the court for the atrocities he committed in northern Uganda,” he said on Thursday. Former LRA fighters who were granted amnesty after they returned from the bush claim they witnessed Vincent Otti being killed, he said.
“So they don’t understand the criteria of having declared Okot Odhiambo and Raska Lukwiya dead and not Otti. This is what they don’t understand and they feel that something needs to be made clear to them,” Mr Okwir said.
The ICC Assistant Outreach Field Officer for Uganda, Mr Jimmy Otim, said the court cannot make public the reason for not dropping the warrant of arrest against Otti “because it’s part of the investigation.”