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Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Monday, 26 May 2008 16:17 UK

Uganda sets up war crimes court

A victim of the LRA rebels
The LRA are notorious for mutilating victims

Uganda has set up a special war crimes court to deal with cases of human rights violations committed during the 20-year insurgency in the north.

Principal Judge James Ogoola said the court will have the mandate to try Lord's Resistance Army rebel leaders.

Reporters say the move is seen as an attempt to convince the International Criminal Court (ICC) to drop indictments against top LRA commanders.

The LRA leader has refused to sign a peace deal until they are lifted.

Some two million people have been displaced during the conflict, notorious for atrocities against children.

It was agreed that the court, a special division of the Uganda High Court, would be set up at peace talks between the rebels and government.

But LRA leader Joseph Kony refused to sign a final peace agreement last month, wanting further assurances about the ICC warrants.

He wants the Ugandan government to write to the UN Security Council and the ICC to have indictments lifted.

Media reports in Uganda say Justice Akiiki Kiiza has been named to head the war crimes court.

He will be assisted by Eldad Mwangusya and Lady Justice Ibanda Nahamya, who served at Sierra Leone's UN-backed war crimes court.


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