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UPDF Disengages from the Central African Republic (19.04.2017)

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Press Release – Ongwen case: the confirmation of charges hearing to be held at the seat of the ICC in The Hague (28.10.2015)

dominic_ongwen_and_icc__dr_meddy

Situation: Uganda
Case: The Prosecutor v. Dominic Ongwen

Today, 28 October 2015, the Presidency of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided that the confirmation of charges hearing in the case concerning Dominic Ongwen, scheduled for 21 January 2016, shall be held at the seat of the Court at The Hague (Netherlands).

On 10 September 2015, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II had recommended to the ICC Presidency that that holding the confirmation of charges hearing in Uganda would be desirable and in the interests of justice. Following consultations with the Ugandan authorities, the ICC Presidency received an updated assessment from the Court’s Registry on the feasibility of holding the confirmation of charges hearing in Uganda.

The ICC Presidency noted the excellent co‑operation of Uganda in assisting the Registry with the preparation of its preliminary and final assessments. The Presidency noted also that there would be a number of benefits to holding the hearing in Uganda as in principle this would contribute to a better perception of the Court and bring the proceedings closer to the communities affected by the alleged crimes. However, the Presidency noted particularly the possibility, expressed by Uganda itself, that political tensions may increase during an upcoming electoral period, especially during January 2016, which may have an adverse impact on the Court. The Presidency also noted operational limitations, in particular concerns that holding proceedings in Uganda would significantly impact the Court’s resources during its move to its permanent premises scheduled for December 2015. For these reasons, the ICC Presidency found that the potential benefits of holding the confirmation hearing in Uganda in January 2016 are outweighed by the significant risks

The confirmation of charges hearing in respect of Dominic Ongwen is scheduled to commence on 21 January 2016 and is expected to last three to no more than five working days. The confirmation of charges hearing is not a trial. It is a Pre-Trial hearing held to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to commit the case for trial before a Trial Chamber.

Decision on the recommendation to the Presidency to hold the confirmation of charges hearing in the Republic of Uganda

Background:  Dominic Ongwen was the alleged Brigade Commander of the Sinia Brigade of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). On 8 July 2005, ICC Judges issued an arrest warrant against Mr Ongwen for 3 counts of crimes against humanity (murder; enslavement; inhumane acts of inflicting serious bodily injury and suffering) and 4 counts of war crimes (murder; cruel treatment of civilians; intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population; pillaging) allegedly committed on or about 20 May 2004 at the Lukodi IDP Camp in the Gulu District. On 16 January 2015, Dominic Ongwen was surrendered to the ICC’s custody and transferred to the ICC Detention Centre on 21 January 2015. His initial appearance before the Court took place on 26 January 2015.

ICC-CPI-20150910-PR1148: Ongwen case: Pre-Trial Chamber II recommends holding the confirmation of charges hearing in Uganda; ICC Presidency’s decision to be made in due course (10.09.2015)

Ongwen

Situation: Uganda
Case: The Prosecutor v. Dominic Ongwen

On 10 September 2015, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) recommended to the ICC Presidency that the hearing on the confirmation of charges against Dominic Ongwen, be held in the Republic of Uganda. The ICC Presidency will now consult with the Ugandan authorities and make a decision on this matter, in consultation with the Pre-Trial Chamber, in due course.

The confirmation of charges hearing in respect of Dominic Ongwen is scheduled to commence on 21 January 2016 and is expected to last three to no more than five working days. The confirmation of charges hearing is not a trial. It is a Pre-Trial hearing held to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to commit the case for trial before a Trial Chamber.

The Chamber considers that it would be desirable and in the interest of justice to hold the confirmation of charges hearing in Uganda, preferably in Gulu as this location is the closest to the location of the alleged crimes, or alternatively in Kampala. Also, the Chamber is of the view that the hearing on the confirmation of charges is well suited to achieve the ultimate purpose of holding proceedings away from the seat of the Court, as it is a short, self-contained, discrete procedural step. In addition, the Chamber considers that the estimated costs of organising the confirmation of charges hearing in Uganda do not appear disproportionate.

Prior to making this recommendation, the Chamber received an assessment of the ICC Registry as to the possibility of holding the confirmation of charges hearing in Uganda, as well as submissions of the Office of the Prosecutor and the Defence both in favour of attempting to bring the Court’s process closer to the communities affected by the alleged crimes.

Pursuant to Rule 100 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, where the Court considers that it would be in the interests of justice, it may decide to sit in a State other than the host State, for such period or periods as may be required, to hear the case in whole or in part.

dominic_ongwen_and_icc__dr_meddy

Background:  Dominic Ongwen was the alleged Brigade Commander of the Sinia Brigade of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). On 8 July 2005, ICC Judges issued an arrest warrant against Mr Ongwen for 3 counts of crimes against humanity (murder; enslavement; inhumane acts of inflicting serious bodily injury and suffering) and 4 counts of war crimes (murder; cruel treatment of civilians; intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population; pillaging) allegedly committed on or about 20 May 2004 at the Lukodi IDP Camp in the Gulu District. On 16 January 2015, Dominic Ongwen was surrendered to the ICC’s custody and transferred to the ICC Detention Centre on 21 January 2015. His initial appearance before the Court took place on 26 January 2015.

 

Uganda – MPS Defence budget for FY 2015/2016 – Quotes and Outtakes:

NTVUgandaUPDF

Here are the quotes and outtakes from the Ministry of Defence in Uganda. Government of Uganda has with this Ministerial Policy Statement (MPS) it shows the value of the Defence Ministry. So here we go to show it!

Vision of the Ministry:

“The vision and commitment of Ministry of Defence is to transform and sustain the UPDF into a modern, professional, efficient and accountable force” (MPS P: 7).

Internal Security Environment:

“The tensions which erupted in the Rwenzori Sub-region in July 2014 were contained by the Security forces. In order to fundamentally resolve the basis of the tensions” (…) “Disarmament Operations in Karamoja have largely been successful and as a result this year’s Tarehe Sita celebrations were held in the Karamoja sub region under the theme” (…) “Terror threats from Al-Shabaab and ADF still persist. Some murders particularly in Eastern Uganda have been linked to ADF elements” (MPS P: 8).

External Security Environment:

“To the north of the country, the security situation in South Sudan remains volatile. Fighting between the warring parties continued despite the IGAD mediation process in Addis Ababa, clashes in the states of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile persist” (…) “On the western frontier of our border with DRC, the threat of ADF persists despite ongoing operations by the DRC’S national army, the FARDC and the Intervention brigade of the UN” (…) “UPDF maintains strategic deployments along the border and an intelligence liaison team in Beni town to monitor this security situation. As reported last year, the M23 was militarily defeated and a political agreement reached between the DRC Government and the M23. However, the implementation of the agreed declarations in Nairobi has stagnated. For example of all the M23 ex-combatants that took refuge in Uganda only 182 have been repatriated and over 1000 are still in Uganda” (…) “the Counter LRA Operations. In the course of the year no agreement was reached in regard to Uganda joining the UN multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission for CAR (MINUSCA)” (…) “RTF).Counter LRA Operations in the course of the year were remarkable. Twenty five (25) rebels were killed and seven(7) forced to defect including Brig Dominic Ongwen, who is now being prosecuted by the ICC in the Hague. Over 100 abductees, including women and children were rescued from LRA captivity” (…) “In Somalia, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) continues to register achievements. Key coastal towns, including the Port of Barawe which was the lifeline of Al-Shabaab, were captured. Consequently the 5 sea route portion between the ports of Mogadishu and Kismayo is now under the control of AMISOM forces” (MPS P: 9-11).

Public Enterprise:

“The Uganda Air Cargo Corporation had its license withdrawn by the CAA in the general operation to enforce standards. For most of the year therefore the corporation has suffered heavy losses” (…) “the National Enterprises Corporation (NEC), performance has not been to the desired standards. Accordingly a new managing director is being appointed and the corporation will fundamentally get restructured” (MPS P: 12).

Logistical Support:

“Food stuffs and agricultural products were procured to feed troops on special operations, patients, trainees and ceremonial functions” (…) “It should however be noted that the budget allocation on food is 18.5bn against a requirement of 53bn hence creating a shortfall in the Ministry’s budget. There is need for an increment on the Ministry’s food budget” (…) “the Ministry to enjoy economies of scale and also ensure that the whole force is fully dressed at once. This costed the Ministry 22bn worth of uniforms against the allocated budget of 11b” (…) “Vehicles The Ministry continued servicing the outstanding debt obligation in respect to the acquisition of 109 vehicles. Payment for the same is expected to be completed in FY 15/16. Routine servicing which included procurement of spares and supplies of all vehicles and equipments to keep them operational was undertaken to enable smooth operation of the Ministry. With a meager budget of Shs. 1.573bn, single line tyre dressing of MoD/UPDF vehicles was also undertaken” (…) “Air force continued to consolidate its capability through routine maintenance, overhaul fabrication and procurement of service parts. Assorted workshop and ground tools were acquired to further strengthen the UPDAF capability to conduct routine maintenance. A total of 7.2bn” (…) “In order to facilitate training, the movement of troops and delivery of logistics at the required time and place, the ministry is projected to procure POL products worth Shs 31.976bn against an allocation of 10.3bn” (MPS P: 15).

Welfare:

“Decentralization of payment of government employee’s salaries to line ministries, the ministry continued to use the Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPS) to pay salaries of the public officers and pension/gratuity for the soldiers while the salary of the troops continued to be paid through the IRIMS. This has greatly improved payment of salaries as they were received before the 28th day of every month. During this FY 2014/15, the ministry plans to retire 1,112 personnel in phases” (…) “National Medical Stores (NMS), the ministry further strengthened the implementation of this directive by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with National Medical Stores. Shs 3,019,523,250/= was remitted to NMS to cater for the ministry’s pharmaceuticals requirement” (MPS P: 16).

Infrastructure Development:

MPS Defence TableV1.1. - ExpendituresMPS Defence Infrastructure Development On going projects.

Planned Outputs:

“The UPDF will continue with routine border surveillance and further strengthen early warning mechanisms to deal with border insecurity and terrorist groups be it ADF, LRA or any other wherever they may be. UPDF will continue supporting the Uganda Police Force, whenever called upon, to enhance internal peace and security, and controlling the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW)” (…) “In addition the UPDF will continue contributing to regional peace and stability through regional bodies. Under the African Union and IGAD, continued progress will be made to build the East African Standby Force. The ministry will continue participating in other regional bodies like EAC, IGAD and ICGLR to address collectively regional peace and security issues” (MPS P: 18).

Logistical support under planned outputs:

“Refurbish and maintain UPDAF Aircrafts: UPDF has a number of aircrafts that require regular refurbishment, maintenance, overhaul of engines as well as acquisition of spare parts. In order to enhance UPDAF capability, the MoD will focus on refurbishing and maintaining of the aircrafts” (…) “Machinery and equipment: The Ministry will continue to establish a combination of contracted and sustainable maintenance plan for its equipment in Mogadishu (…) “Defense Force Shop: Sale of duty free building materials to troops and their families and diversity stocks. The shop has 08 outlets (AMISOM)” (…) Defense Strategic Infrastructure Investment Plan (DSIIP): During this planning period, the DSIIP will continue to guide infrastructure development, resource allocation and prioritization of development. The DSIIP will focus on the construction of the referral ; construction of 30,000 housing units for soldiers” (MPS P: 19-21).

Cross cutting issues:

“The UPDF Spouses desk which falls under the Chieftaincy of Political Commiseriate aims at improving the welfare of families of the UPDF soldiers in all Units country-wide through empowering them with skills that will improve their livelihood.With a budget of Shs.40m” (MPS P: 23).

MPS Defense 25MPS Defense 26MPS Defense 27MPS Defense 28MPS Defense 29MPS Defense 30MPS Defense 32MPS Defense 33MPS Defense 34MPS Defense 35MPS Defense 36MPS Defense 60MPS Defense 78MPS Defense 81MPS Defense 84

Afterthought:

The opinions and wishes from the Statement are clear. You can see the wishes of the UPDF. The way the government wishes to use and function of the army. From being an important part of the African Union peace missions. To also becoming vital in the close area like in South Sudan where even the advice from the Parliament is to pull out. We all know that isn’t going to happen because of the relationship between Museveni and Kiir. They have fought together and helped each other. Now Museveni supports his neighbor and the SPLM. The UPDF are also already in Somalia and Central African Republic as well. When you see the budget for things you well ask yourself. As well as the Classified Equipment are big number and you starting to wonder what that money goes for. Especially when they call it ‘Classified’ and why it’s that size of cash. But I think the rest of the numbers talk for them self. Peace.

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