By Ahura Mujuni Mark
Internal Affairs Minister Hillary Onek has announced that the Amnesty law in Uganda is no longer operational.The announcement come as some of LRA ‘s top who are in the hands of government are seeking to be pardoned.
Onek made the announcement while opening a-one-day validation workshop by Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) of report on the use of traditional justice and truth-telling mechanisms in the promotion of accountability and reconciliation in Uganda held at Imperial Royal Hotel, Kampala.
“I would like to clarify misconceptions about the status of the Amnesty Law. On May 23, 2012, through statutory instrument 34 of 2012, Part II of the Amnesty Act expired. The implication of this is that the Amnesty Commission will no longer issue amnesty certificates to individuals who return from rebellion seeking amnesty for crimes committed during war or rebellion against the Government of Uganda,” Onek said.
However, the minister said that those granted amnesty were still protected under the confines of our law from prosecution for the crimes they received amnesty. They should continue reporting to the Amnesty Commission so that they are reintegrated, resettled and reconciled with their communities.
Former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander Thomas Kwoyelo was denied amnesty and has since been held up in Luzira Prison.Nathan Twinomugisha, the chief legal adviser to the Uganda Amnesty Commission in May this year raised hopes of Caesar Acellam who was the fourth most senior rebel commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army getting amnesty.
Twinomugisha said that Achellam could seek a pardon under the East African country’s amnesty law.