The article considers the trial of Thomas Kwoyelo: the first war crimes prosecution of a former LRA fighter, and only domestic war crimes prosecution in Uganda at time of writing. It considers what Kwoyelo’s trial meant for those most affected by his alleged crimes and, what it means for the ‘transitional justice’ project in Uganda. The article is concerned primarily with how the trial has been interpreted ‘on the ground’ in Acholiland by: local leadership, those with personal relationships to Kwoyelo, the direct victims of his alleged crimes, and others. Responses to the trial have been shaped by people’s specific wartime experiences and if or how his prosecution relates to their current circumstances – and by the profound value of social harmony and distrust of higher authorities to dispense justice. We conclude with a discussion of the relevance of our findings for the practice of ‘transitional justice’ across the African continent.