Ongwen, ex-Ugandan rebel leader guilty of war crimes: ICC

Ongwen, ex-Ugandan rebel leader guilty of war crimes: ICC

 

On Thursday, The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, Netherlands, convicted former Ugandan warlord Dominic Ongwen, of war crimes as well as crimes against humanity. 

 

In reading out detailed descriptions of atrocities committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA); — which had been one of Africa’s most brutal rebel groups — an ICC judge said that Ongwen had ordered the killings; and abductions of civilians; including children.

 

There exists no ground excluding Dominic Ongwen’s criminal responsibility. His guilt has been established beyond any reasonable doubt;” said the presiding ICC judge, Bertram Schmitt.

 

Ongwen was accused of 70 counts of crimes against humanity; including murder, rape, torture, sexual slavery and using child soldiers; between 2002 and 2004 in northern Uganda when he led a brigade of the LRA.

 

He was found guilty of 61 out of 70 counts.

 

 

Child soldier turned warlord

For more than 20 years, LRA fighters subjected northern Uganda to a reign of terror before withdrawing to neighboring; Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan.

 

Ongwen himself was abducted by the rebels as a child while on the way to school; and was likewise forced to serve as a child soldier.

 

His case is the first at the ICC to involve an alleged perpetrator and victim of the same war crimes.

 

He pleaded not guilty when the proceedings began in 2016; and has denied the charges.

 

He will be sentenced at a later date, and could face life behind bars.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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