“State ignores court ruling over Kwoyelo,” Daily Monitor, 13 Nov. 2011

“State ignores court ruling over Kwoyelo,” Daily Monitor, 13 Nov. 2011

By Moses Akena and David Livingstone Okuuu

Former Lord’s Resistance Army commander Thomas Kwoyelo was on Friday whisked off to prison despite a ruling by the International Crimes Division of the High Court set ting him free.

Justice Dan Akiiki Kiiza ordered for the release of Kwoyelo following an order by the Constitutional Court.

“We hereby ceased the trial of the accused person (Kwoyelo) alias Latoni forthwith. And consequently we hereby direct the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Amnesty Commission to comply with the provisions of the Amnesty Act,” said Judge Akiiki.

Mr Frank Mayanja Baine, the Prisons spokesperson, last evening confirmed the continued detention of Kwoyelo, saying he is still facing two other charges.

“We work on documents and for someone to be released on amnesty, he or she must have a certificate, which Kwoyelo has not got, to be released. Once he gets the certificate and other documents for his release then we shall release him,” he said in a telephone interview.

Kwoyelo’s mother, Ms Rosolina Oyela, said she was surprised by the incident because she expected to go back home with her son.

His lawyer Francis Onyango, however, declined to comment on the matter. “I have no comment because there is a Supreme Court case over the issue,” he said.

Civil society want reconciliation
The court, however, did not mention the Supreme Court appeal.

Civil society actors in the region reiterated their call for reparations to war affected communities in northern Uganda, and reconciliation.

Mr Lino Owor Ogora, the head of research and documentation at the Justice and Reconciliation Project, said the way forward is to reconcile Kwoyelo with the victims in Pabbo.

Kwoyelo is the first LRA commander to be prosecuted for crimes committed during the two-decade war in northern Uganda that left thousand dead and millions displaced. He was captured in 2008 during Operation Lightning Thunder in Garamba Forest, eastern DR Congo.

The ICC in 2005 issued an arrest warrant for five top LRA commanders, including their leader Joseph Kony, Dominic Ogweng, Onen Kamdul and two others who died in the bush. Kony is said to be operating between Central African Republic and Sudan.