A former Special Gender Advisor to former International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bansouda, and a cofounder of Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ), Brigid Inder, have exposed corrupt Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) officials in Northern Uganda.
The organisations in question are meant to help the children of former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) soldiers who were involved in crimes against humanity, led by warlord Joseph Kony.
In a statement dated September 21, 2023, Inder alleges that Florence Olara and Jane Akwero Ogwang are non-professionals and dishonest individuals who were tasked with assisting victims of the LRA battle but failed to do so.
According to Inder, Jane Akwero Odwong, a former Ugandan Programme Officer employed by the WIGJ, was dismissed by the organisation in 2014 for conduct-related issues.
“At the time, I was the Executive Director of WIGJ, and we discovered Akwero had misappropriated funds, including those designated for assistance and support for female victims of the Lord Resistance Army conflict,” Inder said.
She stated that the issue at hand was thoroughly examined by the WIGJ Board, confirmed in an audit conducted by the organisation’s external auditor, and reconfirmed by another external audit process conducted by one of the organisation’s donors.
“WIGJ chose not to expose her actions publicly, but the Board decided to place a small notice in a newspaper in Uganda, declaring that Akwero no longer worked for or represented WIGJ, a common practice in Uganda at the time,” she added.
Florence Olara, the foundation chair of the Peace, Justice, and Security Foundation (PJSF), had her contract with the ICC terminated by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in 2018 for misconduct related to her activities with former Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo in the context of protecting a Libyan businessman from potential prosecution by the Court.
“The dismissal also related to organising a press conference for a foundation working on genocide issues while employed by the Court and without the authorization of the Office of the Prosecutor,” Inder said.
Inder revealed this in retaliation for being accused by Olara’s organisation of facilitating and funding Joseph Kony, the fugitive leader of the LRA rebel group.
Inder was the Executive Director of Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice between 2004 and 2017, during which the organisation was at the forefront of influencing and supporting the ICC in its prioritisation and prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes and the inclusion of girls and women as victims formally recognised within its cases.
Between 2012 and 2016, she served as the pro bono Special Advisor on Gender to the Prosecutor of the ICC. She is a founding member of the Coalition for International Criminal Justice (CICJ).