The agreements of 29 June, which recognise the importance of judicial proceedings for the most serious crimes, including for all persons, regardless of their membership, are positive.4 The agreement also contains broader accountability measures, including truth-finding and traditional justice.5 Nevertheless, the agreement leaves open the possibility of fundamentally insufficient sanctions in the event of convictions for the most serious crimes. Paragraph 6.3 of the agreement provides for the introduction of a regime of sanctions and alternative sanctions and the replacement of existing sanctions for serious crimes committed by non-state actors. It is not clear from the agreement and public statements what alternative sanctions can be imposed or to what extent they will depart from the usual criminal sanctions under Ugandan law. In addition, the agreement in paragraph 6.4 specifies that sanctions should cover several objectives, including taking into account the seriousness of crime and promoting reconciliation and rehabilitation, but without specifying the types of sanctions that will advance these objectives. Human Rights Watch believes that peace talks offer important prospects for ending the devastating 21-year conflict in northern Uganda. Human Rights Watch also believes that any outcome must include both a peace agreement, a fair and credible prosecution of those responsible for the most serious crimes committed, as well as broader accountability measures. Throughout the conflict, the LRA and, to a lesser extent, government forces have committed numerous crimes that have violated international law and other human rights violations. We firmly believe that it is essential to pursue the most serious of them to account and achieve lasting peace in northern Uganda.1 On 29 June, the Government of Uganda and the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) signed a accountability and reconciliation agreement in the peace talks that have been taking place since July 2006 in Juba. South Sudan.
Discussions are now on hold for consultation and the development of protocols for the implementation of the agreement. Instead, the 29 June Accountability and Reconciliation Agreement provides for national processes in Uganda. The ICC authorizes and favours national procedures where possible. However, as described in more detail in a May 2007 Human Rights Watch memorandum, any national alternative to the process by the ICC should meet essential criteria, in accordance with the Rome Statute of iciC and other international standards. These are credible, impartial and independent investigations and prosecutions; strict adherence to international standards of fairness in judicial proceedings, in principle and practice; 4 According to paragraphs 6.1 and 6.2 of 29 June, the agreement of 29 June stipulates that formal courts are provided for by the Constitution, the jurisdiction of persons with special responsibility for the most serious crimes, particularly crimes, international crimes during the conflict, and that the courts and courts will be responsible for serious human rights violations. In addition, under paragraphs 4.1 and 4.2, the agreement provides that anyone who has committed serious offences must be subject to criminal and civil action and that prosecutions are based on systematic, independent and impartial investigations. Nor does the agreement address the full integration of international crimes and theories of criminal responsibility into national law.