Mutilated woman wants rebel leader punished for war crimes

GULU - The rebels showed some mercy on Concy Lawil when they sliced off her lips, ears and nose with a machete and then force-fed them to her. They had originally planned to kill her.

GULU - The rebels showed some mercy on Concy Lawil when they sliced off her lips, ears and nose with a machete and then force-fed them to her. They had originally planned to kill her.

"A commander intervened to stop them, I was saved. But I will have to live the rest of my life with these defects," Lawil said, speaking through a healed but lipless mouth.

She is one of thousands of victims of a two-decade war between Uganda's government and Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, halted last year by a ceasefire.

LRA delegates arrived in Uganda last week for a historic visit and a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni for talks aimed at ending one of Africa's longest wars.

Now they are touring the ravaged north to build support for an effort to prevent LRA leader Joseph Kony from being tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague and instead face local, traditional justice in Uganda.

Kony and three other wanted top commanders are in hiding in Congo. His delegates say he is unlikely to sign a peace deal unless the ICC drops its indictments.

The rebels became notorious for their cruel attacks on civilians - beating villagers to death and hacking off body parts of their victims.

Many northerners say they are ready to forgive the LRA in exchange for peace, but Lawil says she wants justice.

:Kony should be tried in The Hague. He should be jailed for life for what he's done. Why is the government helping the LRA, not the victims?" she asks. - Reuters

X