ICC Says It has Injected 11 Billion Shillings for LRA War Victims in Last 8 Years
Officials of the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) have revealed that a total of €3.148 Million (UGX 11. 965 Billion) has been spent in rehabilitation programs for victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in northern Uganda since 2009.
The Trust Fund for Victims like the International Criminal Court (ICC) is an establishment of the Rome Statute. The two institutions complement each other in the effort to bring perpetrators of serious crimes to book.
The UGX 11.95 billion was channel through nine local and international nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) working in Acholi, Lango and Teso sub regions since 2009.
This was revealed on Monday by Motoo Noguchi, the Chair Board of the TFV during a visit at the former Lukodi internally displaced persons camp in Gulu district.
Lukodi is where among others former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen is suspected to have committed heinous crimes.
Ongwen faces 70 charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes at the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands.
Motoo Noguchi said 45, 000 war victims have directly benefited from the 11.965 billion shillings over the last eight years when ICC began to channel funds to support war victims in Uganda.
Noguchi is currently visiting Uganda with the ICC President Sylvia Fernandez.
Noguchi explained that the funds was used to train war victims with vocation skills, physical and psychological rehabilitation, support to livelihoods programs and medical operations of those with bullet wounds and shrapnel in their bodies, among others.
The objective of the support, explained Noguchi, is to ensure that those who suffered as a result of the war get rehabilitated and live a normal life.
He assured war the victims that the VTF will continue that support those who are still in need as they rebuild their lives but stressed that due to limitations of funds, not everyone affected by the war will benefit
One of the beneficiaries of the VTF fund, Samuel Baker Ojara received artificial limbs after undergoing surgery.
Ojara, a former LRA abductees suffered a shattered leg after the group of LRA he was with got into an ambush laid by government forces.
He said without the operation that cost 30 Million shillings, he could not been able to live a normal live again.
He wants the ICC support extended to others who suffered as a result of the violence that left thousands in northern Uganda with mutilated body parts.
The Country Program Manager for VTF for Uganda, Scott Bartell says the support will continue so that those in need of both physical and medical rehabilitation can be able to access it.