Who will speak out for the victims if leaders pull out of ICC?
Posted Sunday, October 27 2013 at 01:00
A lot has been said in the media concerning the ultimatum that the AU gave to ICC, but nothing has been said about victims. Is it because they are ignorant about the ICC or do we simply think they don’t count?
I personally know little of how international courts administer justice, but I am a victim and would like my own plight highlighted in these courts.
I have witnessed my beloved ones go missing, our homes burnt down, beaten by soldiers.
I have slept in the bush even during times when I was supposed to be preparing for exams, I was forced to flee our home and sleep on verandas in Gulu Town.
This, and what many others have experienced such as; mass killings, rape and looting are not even a fraction of what victims go through during times of war. I still remember days when my mother would tell us to run away on spotting any soldier because she didn’t know which one is the good one.
We endured a lot in the hands of good and bad soldiers.
We in the north look upon the ICC, therefore, as our only hope for justice, a place where they can find redress and where perpetrators will be dealt with.
I think ICC is not about the leaders; it is about accountability for actions of leaders and the people they serve. Let us therefore, before making any move against ICC, think about the victims and what would become of them incase such mechanisms for redress are not in place for Africa anymore.
Even if we expand or create our own court in Africa to try such cases, what level of trust do victims have? Civil society organisations should take the lead in bringing victims on board because the cases handled by ICC are forwarded there by the victims or their countries.