Breakout session on ‘Peace and Transitional Justice’, third talk: Lydiah Kemunto Bosire, D.Phil. Candidate, Politics and International Relations, Oxford University.
The establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in July 2002 created a permanent forum for prosecuting those held 'most responsible' for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, and brought fresh promise to management of past, ongoing, and future conflicts. The ICC's intervention in ongoing conflict is thought to bring peace, even while the mechanisms by which the ICC might result in such peace remain unclear. The contested role of the ICC in Uganda is an example: while at one point the Court was credited for bringing the Government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army rebel group to the table, at a later point the Court was blamed for derailing that same peace process. This paper draws on fieldwork conducted in Uganda in 2007 and 2008 to assess the role the ICC played in the Juba peace talks between the Government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army. Based on interviews with elites involved in the peace process, the paper suggests that the role of the ICC cannot be understood outside the interests and motivations of elite agents.