Source: (2007) The International Journal of Transitional Justice. Vol. 1, 2007, pp. 91-114.

Through the story of a former rebel fighter, this article examines some of the justice and reconciliation challenges in northern Uganda today. While talks between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and Government of Uganda have generated the best chance for peace in the 20-year conflict, the International Criminal Court’s indictment of rebel leaders threatens this process. The rebels refuse to disarm if indicted; the Chief Prosecutor refuses to withdraw indictments as he believes withdrawal will foster impunity. To resolve this dilemma, local cultural and religious leaders advocate adapting local justice and reconciliation mechanisms to the situation, arguing that these will both hold rebels accountable and achieve peace. However, little is known about local justice processes or their potential to foster reconciliation in war-torn northern Uganda. On the basis of participatory research (2004–2006) with war-affected persons, the article seeks to address this gap, illustrating the potential and limitations of such locally relevant mechanisms. (author's abstract)