Sakset/Fra hofta

Det er ikke første gang det advares mot konsekvensene av å prioritere rettferdighet fremfor et kompromiss med forbryterne for å oppnå fred. Med erfaringen viser at det slett ikke gikk så ille likevel, kan New York Times fortelle.

Diplomats have predicted dire consequences from arrest warrants before. When Mr. Milosevic, then Yugoslavia’s president, was first indicted in 1999 — during the conflict in Kosovo — German, French and Russian politicians said it would put a fatal obstacle in the way of peace negotiations. When he was transferred to The Hague, diplomats worried it would destabilize the region.

Similarly, when the Special Court for Sierra Leone unsealed its arrest warrant for Mr. Taylor, then Liberia’s president, in 2003, in the midst of intense fighting there, diplomats and others involved in peace negotiations privately warned of disastrous consequences. Kofi Annan, then the United Nations secretary general, was furious and reportedly told his aides it was a threat to the peace process.

Both leaders ultimately fell from power, and the role the indictments played in either prolonging or shortening conflict has been much debated.

More recently, diplomats have complained that arrest warrants hampered a peace deal with the Lord’s Resistance Army, which has ravaged northern Uganda for 20 years.

Led by Joseph Kony, the rebel group has kidnapped thousands of children and turned them into soldiers and sex slaves. Mr. Kony agreed to take part in peace talks, but only if the international arrest warrants against him were lifted. The Security Council, which has the power to suspend prosecutions, was reportedly ready to agree if Mr. Kony signed.

«But he failed to appear,» said Richard Dicker, director of the international justice program at Human Rights Watch. «It turns out that the rebel group used the talks as a screen to beef up its depleted ranks.»

The Pursuit of Justice vs. the Pursuit of Peace