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Reporters on the Job

Peace Over Justice: When she visited the town of Gulu, Uganda, correspondent Alexis Okeowo says she was surprised at how many people in the refugee camp there wanted the rebel members of the Lord's Resistance Army to be forgiven immediately, rather than face charges from the International Criminal Court (ICC) (see story). "A lot of them were saying it wasn't necessary for the rebels to go to jail or to be harshly punished," Alexis says. "These people thought that if they were just forgiven, there would finally be peace and people could go home."

Alexis says many people held the view that if the government sent the LRA rebels to the ICC, it would just prolong the conflict.

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One woman, Betty, whose husband was killed by the rebels, said she just wanted it to be over.

"People have been in these camps for years," Alexis says. "Also, after all this time, they seem to have come to terms with what's happened, and they don't see any gains to come from vengefulness."

The camp in Gulu, a four-hour drive from Uganda's capital, Kampala, was a pretty grim place, Alexis notes.

"It's a little maze of stone huts, and animals and small children wander around," she says. "These people were just thrown together by this crisis. But the place is livened by the fact that people chat a lot and seem to have good sense of community."

– Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor


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