Joseph Kony et. al.

ICC arrest warrants were issued for Joseph Kony and four other senior Lord’s Resistance Army commanders in July 2005 for war crimes and crimes against humanity in northern Uganda. Kony remains wanted.
In 2005, International Criminal Court (ICC) Pre-Trial Chamber II issued arrest warrant for five senior Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) members, including leader Joseph Kony, second-in-command Vincent Otti, along with commanders Dominic Ongwen, Okot Odhiambo and Raska Lukwiya. All were believed to be key members of the LRA’s “Control Altar” command structure. In issuing the arrest warrants, ICC judges found a reasonable basis to believe that the LRA established a pattern of brutalizing civilian populations, including in internally displaced persons camps, during the course of its insurgency against the Ugandan government in 2002-04. The cases against Lukwiya and Odhiambo were withdrawn following their deaths in 2006 and 2013 respectively. Otti is also suspected to have died. Ongwen became the only LRA leader to enter into ICC custody in January 2015. Judges decided that he would face trial immediately and separated his case.

Joseph Kony is accused of 12 counts of crimes against humanity and 21 counts of war crimes committed during the LRA’s insurgency in northern Uganda between 2002 and 2004. The crimes against humanity charges cover murder, enslavement, sexual enslavement, rape, and inhumane acts. The war crimes charges cover cruel treatment of civilians, intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population, pillaging, inducing rape, and recruiting child soldiers. 

Kony allegedly ordered the insurgency, directed LRA attacks in specific regions, and issued broad orders to kill civilian populations, including those living in camps for internally displaced persons.


LRA moves to neighboring countries, crimes alleged
While the LRA has for many years no longer been active in Uganda, the neighboring territories of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, and the Central African Republic (CAR) have borne the brunt of alleged LRA crimes.

A 2014 UN Security Council report suggested that Kony and other LRA commanders were in hiding in a region of South Sudan bordering Sudan and the CAR. LRA commanders were engaged in “survival mode activities” in remote regions of the CAR and the DRC and were exploiting Sudan’s protection and the lawlessness in the CAR to regroup. 

No justice without a trial
A massive global campaign to raise awareness about Kony and the LRA’s alleged crimes prompted civil society to remind the international community to respect human rights during the efforts to capture the group, warning that the death of any of the ICC suspect would deny justice to victims of LRA abuses. 


Pre-Trial Chamber authorized 41 victims to participate in the ICC proceedings against Kony et al.