9 October 2018 – Uganda ordered to compensate former LRA fighter, Rwanda’s penal code introduces sanction for entities that support genocide

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Uganda ordered to compensate former LRA fighter: The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has ordered the Ugandan government to compensate former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander Thomas Kwoyelo for violating his rights under the African Charter, including his right to equality before the law and his right to a fair trial. Mr Kwoyelo is currently facing charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity including willful killing, enslavement, torture, taking hostages, sexual violence and the destruction of property in Gulu and Amuru in Uganda. Mr Kwoyelo has been in detention awaiting trial for almost ten years and proceedings are still stuck at the pre-trial stage. The Supreme Court of Uganda has repeatedly delayed the hearings for various reasons including, most recently, insufficient funds to conduct the trial. In contrast, the case of Dominic Ongwen, another alleged senior member of the LRA, is currently on trial at the International Criminal Court. He was arrested in 2014 and his trial commenced in 2016.  The Defence is  currently presenting its evidence in this case before the ICC in the Hague.

The orders in relation to Mr Kwoyelo were made by the Commission in its ruling held at its 62nd ordinary session in Banjul in Gambia last week. The Ugandan government has been ordered to pay compensation based on “international standards” and to report progress back to the Commission within 180 days. (Monitor)

Rwanda genocide. Photo: venturesafrica.com via Bing.

Rwanda’s penal code introduces sanction for entities that support genocide: Rwanda has released a new penal code which stipulates that any company or institution will face dissolution if it supports genocide or crimes against humanity by any means. The new code came into force on 30 September 2018. It is the first time that Rwandan law has explicitly held institutions accountable for genocide and crimes against humanity. This development has been welcomed by scholars and the Rwanda Civil Society Platform. The Rwandan Penal Code also imposes superior responsibility for a subordinate who commits war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. (New Times)

 

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