INTERPOL issues first Red Notices on behalf of International Criminal Court

1 June 2006

LYON, France – INTERPOL has issued the first wanted persons notices on behalf of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for five individuals suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Northern Uganda.

The INTERPOL Red Notices are based on arrest warrants issued by the ICC for the men, who are all members of the ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’ and are accused of a range of offences, including murder, rape and the forced enlisting of children.

The Red Notices have been circulated among all 184 INTERPOL member countries, and include a request to arrest and detain the individuals if found, pending surrender to the ICC.

Among the five is the leader of the group, ‘General’ Joseph Kony, who has been charged with 12 counts of crimes against humanity and 21 counts of war crimes.

The other four individuals are Raska Lukwiya, Vincent Otti,   Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen who are also accused of war crimes, including intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population.

The Red Notice is one of the chief ways in which INTERPOL informs its member countries that an arrest warrant has been issued for an individual by a judicial authority. It is not an international arrest warrant, however, many INTERPOL member countries consider a Red Notice a valid request for provisional arrest.

In cases where an arrest is made based on a Red Notice, it is carried out by the national police in INTERPOL member countries. INTERPOL cannot demand that any member country arrest the subject of a Red Notice.

The ICC, International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, United Nations Mission in Kosovo and Special Court for Sierra Leone are the only non-national governmental bodies to which INTERPOL has granted permission to request the issue of Red Notices.

INTERPOL and the ICC signed a co-operation agreement in 2005 which also provides the ICC with access to the organization’s global police communications system, I-24/7.

The Red Notice is the best known of INTERPOL’s six colour-coded notices – the others being Blue, Black, Green, Orange and Yellow – which serve to alert police of fugitives, suspected terrorists, dangerous criminals, missing persons or weapons threats.

In 2005, the INTERPOL-United Nations Special Notice was created, and to date 232 have been issued for individuals who are the targets of UN sanctions against Al Qaeda and the Taliban

For more information on the International Criminal Court and the arrest warrants please contact Christian Palme, OTP Public Information Adviser: or phone +31 (0)70 515 9991.