AFPEntertainment-film Uganda-unrest-rebels-justice International court's intervention could block peace in Uganda: film by Jacqueline Swartz TORONTO, May 9, 2006 (AFP) - Intervention by the International Criminal Court in The Hague could complicate a peace process in Uganda and thwart local efforts to end the conflict, according to a new documentary film. Acholi tribal elders of northern Uganda are concerned the court's October 2005 warrants for rebel leaders may disrupt their efforts to lure children away from a brutal children's army and reintegrate them into society, it shows. "If this intervention is going to be at the cost of a possible resolution of the conflict, then let justice wait. We want peace first," chief negotiator and former government minister Betty Bigombe says in the film, "Uganda Rising". The documentary made its international debut at the Hot Docs festival last week in Toronto. It depicts the life and death struggles of the northern Acholi people, caught between the notoriously brutal Lord's Resistance Army and Ugandan government forces. The charges against LRA leader Joseph Kony, known for using children as target practice for other children, are not disputed in the film. Kony and his deputy Vincent Otti are among five top LRA commanders believed to be on the run in neighboring southern Sudan or the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Kampala says it has killed one of the five, Dominic Ongwen. But, the ICC action has triggered concern about the possibility of additional warrants for LRA soldiers, most of whom are kidnapped children and adolescents. "Will 30,000 children be considered victims or terrorists?" remarked Marina Percy, a spokeswoman for the film. In 2001, the LRA was labelled a terrorist group by the United States. Acholi leaders had been attempting to lure the children back and reintegrate them into society. Faced with the reality of the ICC warrants, Bigombe is currently trying to salvage the peace and reconciliation process by isolating the indicted leaders, according to Percy. "The ICC warrants should be used as leverage to isolate the rebel leaders from the other troops," Bigombe said. "The others should be dealt with in traditional ways." These include amnesty, as well as rituals like stepping on an egg, symbolizing a break from the past and the start of a new life. War has ravaged the people of northern Uganda for nearly 20 years, yet it has gone largely unnoticed, overshadowed by the catastrophes in Rwanda and Darfur, the film's producer said. "Conditions in the displaced persons camps are worsening; there are now one and a half million people there, with a thousand people dying every week from lack of food and medical attention," Alison Lawton told AFP. Lawton made the film as part of the campaign, Act For Stolen Children in Uganda, which began last October with a press conference at the United Nations. It is directed by Jesse James Miller and Peter McCormack. The campaign has drawn support from a long list of human rights and aid organizations including UNICEF, OXFAM and Save the Children. The film follows blank-eyed adolescents who have escaped from Kony's gruesome cult and live in camps established by President Yoweri Museveni. Some have no living parents and are responsible for caring for younger siblings. In the morning, they head off to school, gathering faded books and notepads and donning blue and pink uniforms. Afterwards, there is another journey. About 40,000 children -- afraid of being abducted by Kony's LRA gang, 80 percent if it children -- make a haunting afternoon trek to the relative security of nearby towns. There the "night commuters", as they are called, sleep in empty schools, churches, shelters or even bus stops. In the morning, they return to the camp. "When there is peace then we will stop walking," one child says.