Between 13th-17 September, 2022,The Embassy of Ireland & Trust Fund For Victims carried out a joint Monitoring Visit in Northern Uganda that was a success. Kingdom of The Netherlans and International Criminal Court were also part.
Important to note.
Northern Uganda region went blood due to the attack on the area by Lord’s Resistance Army led by rebel leader Joseph Kony claiming lives of 1000s of people and others were left with untold effects.
Since then the area has been suffering atrocities to date.
“Although the guns have gone silent, the wounds are still deep”. said Minister Mao.
He expressed gratitude towards the the fund that has enabled delegates to go to ground that has enabled them get first hand impression from the victims of LRA attack which may help to rekindle their hope.
Minister Mao believed that mental health is important and belived that Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) is utmost valuable for thousands of people in Northern Uganda.
Speaking to Media convened at Sheraton Hotel in Uganda’s Capital, Kampala yesterday, Minou Tavarez Mirabal, the Chairperson of the TFV Board of Directors said the objective of the monitoring visit was to provide delegates with the opportunity to witness first-hand transformative work of the TFV in northern Uganda, focusing on the lasting impact of the conflict and the individuals and communities affected by the many atrocities committed.
”Delegates on the visit hoped to gain insight into reparation implementation Programmes and hear directly victims’ experiences of court-ordered reparation Programme in the Lubanga and the Katanga case in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” she said.
Tavarez Mirabal, added, “Medical treatment, trauma counselling and livelihood support are life-changing services that afford recognition and a form of justice to victims of Rome Statute crimes and redress for the harm they have suffered. The TFV calls for collective efforts to restore hope, transform lives and achieve long-term reparative justice for victims,” she added.
Speaking on Ireland’s hopes for the visit and support of the TEV’s work, H.E. Ambassador Brenda Rogers of Ireland to the Netherlands said: “This visit is the bridge between The Hague and the field. Delegates are now better informed and have seen with their own eyes the impact of the work of the TFV on the ground. We now have a family of supporters of the Fund that can take that support back to The Hague and beyond.”
The delegates said they came to better understand the deeply rooted harm persisting in northern Uganda sixteen years after the LRA conflict and the need to redress this harm. Beneficiaries of the programme called upon the delegates to provide reparative measures more broadly to the victims, their children and communities.
Delegates committed to advocating for increased international awareness and support in order to allow the TFV to continue its programmes in northern Uganda, complementing the efforts of the Government of Uganda.
Silvia said, “States Parties should cooperate with the ICC in order to ensure perpetrators of crimes are brought to justice, and the rights and needs of victim-survivors are addressed. During my mandate, I will do my utmost to promote the important work of the Trust Fund for victims
But What’s TFV?
In 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) were created under the Rome Statute. While the ICC is responsible for trying criminal cases involving the crime of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, the TFV’s mission is to respond to the harm resulting from the crimes under the jurisdiction of the ICC by ensuring the rights of victims and their families through the provision of reparation and assistance.
To achieve its mission, the TFV fulfils two unique mandates:
1. Implementing reparation awards ordered against a convicted person by the ICC.
2 providing assistance to victims and their families in ICC situations through rehabilitative programmes of medical treatment, mental healthcare, and livelihood support. In Uganda, the Trust Fund for Victims has been implementing its rehabilitation programme since 2008 across 22 districts of northern Uganda. To date, more than 60,000 Ugandans have been rehabilitated from injuries sustained in the armed conflict, and over 350,000 people indirectly benefited from the programme. In 2022, the TFV has partnered with five locally based organizations to implement activities.
Assistance and Justice for Victims
In 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Trust Fund for Victims (Trust Fund or TFV) were created under the Rome Statute.
While the ICC is responsible for investigating and prosecuting criminal cases involving the crime of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, the Trust Fund mission is to respond to the harm resulting from the crimes under the jurisdiction of the ICC by ensuring the rights of victims and their families through the provision of reparations and assistance.
To achieve its mission, the Trust Fund fulfils two unique mandates:
1) Implementing reparations awards ordered against a convicted person by the Court, and, 2) Providing assistance to victims and their families in ICC situations through programmes of psychological rehabilitation, physical rehabilitation, and material support.
The Trust Fund works with locally based implementing partners (non-governmental organizations) in the situation countries under the assistance mandate, to provide healing services to victims who have suffered harm from the most serious international crimes, regardless of the question of who the perpetrator was of those crimes.
About TFV Uganda Programme
In 1986 Uganda became embroiled in a conflict in the northern region between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
The United Nations estimates that more than 100,000 Ugandans were killed in the conflict, an estimated 60,000-100,000 children and adults were abducted as combatants in the conflict, and more than 2.5 million people were displaced from their homes in the central African region between 1987 and 2012.
In 2004, the Ugandan government referred the situation in northern Uganda to the ICC to investigate violations of the Rome Statute on its territory.
The ICC issued arrest warrants against five leaders of the LRA in 2005.
Dominic Ongwen was taken into ICC custody in 2015 in the Central African Republic. Ongwen was convicted of 61 crimes against humanity and war crimes in February 2021 and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.
The Ongwen case entered into the reparation phase of proceeding in May 2021 with the solicitation of reparation observations. Ongwen has appealed his conviction and the decision is currently pending before the Appeals Chamber at the ICC.
In Uganda, the Trust Fund began implementing an assistance programme in 2008 across the conflict-affected region.
The assistance provided to victims of the conflict between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army includes medical rehabilitation, psychological rehabilitation, and livelihood support.
Activities are conducted in the conflict-affected region of greater northern Uganda.
To date, between 2008 and 2021, the Trust Fund has assisted more than 60,000 direct beneficiaries and well over 350,000 indirect beneficiaries (family and community members).