ICC finds Ugandan LRA commander guilty of war crimes | Courts News

February 4, 2021 3:32 pm by Web Desk


Child soldier-turned-LRA commander Dominic Ongwen convicted by Netherlands-based court.

The International Criminal Court has convicted a Ugandan child soldier-turned-Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Netherlands-based court on Thursday found Dominic Ongwen, 45, guilty of charges relating to crimes including murder, rape, torture and sexual slavery carried out by the LRA in the early 2000s.

He could now be imprisoned for life, though judges will address sentencing at a later date. His lawyers had asked for acquittal.

The case is the first at the tribunal in The Hague to involve an alleged perpetrator and victim of the same war crimes, with Ongwen himself having been abducted by the LRA as a child.

Under the leadership of fugitive rebel Joseph Kony, the LRA terrorised Ugandans for nearly two decades as it battled the government of President Yoweri Museveni from bases in the north of the country and in what is now South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.

In 2004, the Ugandan government referred the conflict with the LRA to the ICC, the world’s first permanent tribunal for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

The United Nations says the LRA killed more than 100,000 people and abducted 60,000 children during its campaign of violence, which ended in 2005 when military pressure forced the armed group out of Uganda and its members scattered across parts of central Africa.

More to follow.

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