Politics at play

News reaches me that Olara Otunnu, former Ugandan foreign minister and prominent candidate for the country’s 2011 election, has decided to do what he has been threatening to do for the past six months: report abuses of the armed forces to the ICC.

Six months ago, when he returned from exile and announced he was going to stand in the elections, he promised to divulge evidence that the UPDF has been committing abuses and should be investigated by the ICC, along with the LRA.

Of course, the ICC can only look at crimes after 2002. There’s pretty good evidence that some UPDF abuses were going on before this magical debate; but, to be honest, I have seen pretty little evidence since.

When Otunnu returned from exile, he made a big thing of the evidence that he had. I asked some of our reporters to try and find out what this evidence was, but they came back with nothing – and I assumed that this was simply an attempt by Otunnu to launch his election campaign with flair.

It worked for the Ugandan newspapers – who didn’t seem to need to see the evidence to give it coverage – but we didn’t run the story.

Now, he seems to have referred the case to the ICC, a story that has some traction on CNN and the Daily Nation.

I would sorely like to know what this evidence is, especially as we are about to run a story about the fact that no justice is being done in terms of UPDF abuses.

Time I tried to speak to Otunnu, I think.

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