The former prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Mr Luis Moreno Ocampo, has offered to represent the victims of Barlonyo Massacre in the court.Barlonyo village in Agweng Sub-county, Lira District is where more than 400 people were massacred by suspected Lord’s Resistance Army rebels on February 21, 2004. A total of 301 people are buried at the memorial site in a mass grave.
However, more people are believed to have been killed in the attack as 11,000 people were in the camp at the time.“I have something to offer you, I want to be your lawyer,” Mr Ocampo told the survivors who gathered at Barlonyo to welcome him on Friday.
He then asked those in the crowd who lost relatives in Barlonyo massacre to raise their hands and all did. He then offered to represent them in court. Mr Ocampo said initially, it was thought only 200 were killed in Barlonyo but now he knows more people were killed.
“We can document that. The killing, abduction and the looting and we can present this to the ICC. We can request to expand the arrest warrant, the number of victims and the number of crimes and document well what happened here,” he said.
“We can present this to the ICC we can request to expand the arrest warrant we can expand the number of victims and number of crimes.” Mr Ocampo was invited to Lango region by Children of Peace, an NGO supporting the vulnerable and victims of the Barlonyo in Lira District.
Ocampo’s viewThe former ICC prosecutor said Kony massacred people in Barlonyo to attract world attention. “We have evidence to show that in attacking Barlonyo, Kony was trying to attract international attention. They (rebels) said by radio, we need to be on BBC. They said we need to kill more than 200 to be on BBC and they chose Barlonyo to do it.”
Mr Richard Okello, the Agweng Sub-county chairperson, said Lango sub-region has not forgiven LRA commanders for the atrocities they committed. “We want to inform ICC that we have not forgiven Kony. He should be arrested, tried and penalised for the crimes he committed,” Mr Okello said.
Mr Ocampo agreed that Kony should be arrested. “UPDF and American forces are following him. I hope he can be arrested and taken before the judges,” he said.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor