Resources and Publications
Memorializing the 1996 Massacre at Parabongo Primary School :July 28th 1996 saw Parabongo torn apart at the hands of the LRA when a massacre at Parabongo Primary School resulted in the loss of 22 lives. The rebels also used the opportunity to abduct, beat, threaten, sexually violate and antagonise the population. Fifty-five people were abducted – the majority of whom have not returned to date, homes were destroyed as the rebels set them alight, and entire communities were displaced into camps far from home. Even once reunited and protected as Parabongo IDP camp was erected, the residents were still subjected to attacks from the LRA. This report seeks to provide a survivor-led account of the atrocities alongside identification of the long-term impacts and challenges to recovery.
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Annual Report 2016 :
The year 2016 turned out to be quite an eventful year for FJDI as a result of several key developments in the field of transitional justice in Uganda.
Among other events, the long awaited trials of two prominent ex-LRA commanders, Dominic Ongwen and Thomas Kwoyelo finally kicked off. Despite the lack of a stable source of funding, FJDI was able to implement a number of activities in partnership with various organizations. The activities varied from trial monitoring, community outreach, information dissemination, and advocacy.
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A Renewed Momentum for Trial Justice? Perceptions of Conflict-Affected Communities in Northern Uganda in the Run up to the Dominic Ongwen and Thomas Kwoyelo Trials:
This report is the result of analysis of data collected during three focus groupdiscussions conducted in the communities of Lukodi, Barlonyo and Pabo in Northern Uganda in May 2016. The aim of the focus groups was to gauge local views on the trial processes of former Lord’s Resistance Army commanders Dominic Ongwen, which commenced at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on 06 December 2016, and of Thomas Kwoyelo, at the International Crimes Division (ICD) in Uganda, originally due to commence in 2016 but expected in 2017. Much of the research on international criminal justice in Northern Uganda was produced at a time when the prospect of international criminal trials taking place was a distant mirage. The situation has now changed. With the Ongwen and Kwoyelo trials imminent, this report hopes to shed new light on two issues. Firstly, the perceptions of conflictaffected communities of the two specific and long-awaited trial processes. Secondly, their views on the role and place of trial justice as a mechanism for post-conflict redress in Northern Uganda more generally. . Read More
Community Views on the Trial of Thomas Kwoyelo and the Need for Community OutreachOn Monday April 4, 2016, the Foundation for Justice and Development Initiatives (FJDI) in collaboration with Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) facilitated five community representatives from Pabo to attend the pre-trial hearing in Kampala. Two days later, on April 7, the two organizations held a community dialogue in Pabo to sensitize the community members about the outcome of the pre-trial hearing. Pabo and the surrounding areas is not only the home area of Kwoyelo, but it is also the location in which he is alleged to have committed most of the crimes he is charged with. In the evening of that same day, ASF and FJDI representatives held a radio talk show on Gulu FM Radio, in Gulu Town, still with the aim of sensitizing the wider public about the upcoming trial. Read the full report about the above activity and community views on the trial of Thomas Kwoyelo at:READ MORE
Support Victims' Legal Representatives: CSO Statement to the ICCA cross-section of CSOs in Uganda have petitioned the ICC to support to victims' legal representatives in the trial of the ICC Prosecutor Vs Dominic Ongwen. On 23 march 2016, the Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) confirmed 70 charges brought by the ICC Prosecutor against Dominic Ongwen and committed him to trial before a Trial Chamber. Prior to its decision confirming charges against Dominic Ongwen, the ICC recognized the right of victims to appoint their own legal representative BUT in the same breath denied the victims’ chosen legal representatives access to the Court’s legal aid. For legal representation to be both effective and meaningful, legal representatives and their teams have to dedicate a substantial amount of time particularly in cases such as that involving DOMINIC ONGWEN which has numerous participating victims and voluminous evidence. If legal representatives are required to carry out their victims’ related work pro bono and earn a living from other legal work, this may impact on the time they are able to devote to the representation of victims. This statement therefore calls upon the ICC to go beyond recognition and provide legal aid as well. The statement can be accessed HERE OR at:https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8mSmNvPrstMQWUtSW0zQnczc28/view?usp=sharing
The Failure to Arrest President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan is a breach of Uganda’s International ObligationsOn Thursday 12 May 2016, President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan was in Uganda to attend the swearing in ceremony of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. President Omar Al-Bashir is currently wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a result of atrocities committed in the Darfur region, for which he stands accused. Uganda as a state party to the ICC was under obligation to arrest him.
President Al-Bashir was not arrested on his visit to Uganda. On an unfortunate note, Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni also went ahead to describe the ICC as ‘a bunch of useless individuals’.
The Foundation for Justice and Development Initiatives (FJDI) would like to express disappointment at this turn out of events, and the unfortunate statements made by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
The statement is attached and can also be accessed HERE Or using this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8mSmNvPrstMU1IwMllVYV9sOEE/view?usp=sharing
Remembering the Lukodi MassacreOn 19th May 2016, residents of Lukodi village commemorated the 12th anniversary of the Lukodi Massacre. The prayers are held annually to remember the victims who lost their lives almost twelve years ago when LRA rebels raided Lukodi village.
Unlike previous celebrations, this one was different because Dominic Ongwen, the ex-LRA commander alleged to have led the attack against Lukodi is currently in the custody of the International Criminal Court (ICC). During these celebrations, the ICC representative present at the function also revealed that the trial of Dominic Ongwen may commence on 05 December 2016.
Another factor that made this particular anniversary of the Lukdoi massacre significant was that for the first time ever, the ceremony was graced by Rwot David Onen Acana II, the Acholi Paramount Chief. Also in attendance were representatives of the ICC from the office of the prosecutor and the victims’ participation and reparations section (VPRS). Victims’ legal representatives; Francisco Cox, Joseph Akwenyu Manoba and Jane Anywar Adong were also present. Members of civil society in northern Uganda, the media, traditional and religious leaders, and community members of Lukodi were also present at the function.
Representatives of the Foundation for Justice and Development Initiatives (FJDI) attended the ceremony and interacted with two survivors of the massacre.
Attached is a brief about how the day was commemorated. The report is also accessible from FJDI's website www.fjdi.org or using this download link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8mSmNvPrstMaGRYMmhsYllZSTg