06 July 2006
The United States says Ugandan rebels accused of war crimes should face justice, despite an offer of amnesty from Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni.
The U.S. Embassy in Kampala issued a statement Thursday, two days after Mr. Museveni said he would grant "total amnesty" to rebel leader Joseph Kony if peace talks between the government and rebels succeed.
The embassy statement says the United States respects Uganda's decision on this matter, but that those who have committed atrocities during the Ugandan insurgency should be held accountable for their deeds.
Kony and four of his top commanders face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity from the International Criminal Court.
The rebel Lord's Resistance Army is accused of kidnapping, mutiliating, and killing thousands of civilans during its 20-year war against the Ugandan government.
On Wednesday, an International Criminal Court spokesman said the court still expects Uganda to carry out an arrest warrant for Kony and his aides.
Kony is believed to be hiding at a rebel base in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Ugandan government agreed just this week to hold peace talks with the LRA The talks are scheduled to begin next week in southern Sudan.