Army Commander guilty of Uganda war crimes | Sunday Observer

Army Commander guilty of Uganda war crimes

7 February, 2021

THE HAGUE, AFP - Feb4, 2021

The International Criminal Court on Thursday found a child soldier-turned-Lord’s Resistance Army commander guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity during a reign of terror in Uganda.

Dominic Ongwen, 45, was found guilty of 61 charges including multiple murders, rape and sexual enslavement by the rebel group, plus the first ever conviction by the Netherlands-based court for the crime of forced pregnancy.

ICC judges dismissed defence claims that the Ugandan was himself a victim of the notorious LRA, led by the fugitive Joseph Kony, as he had been abducted by the group as a nine-year-old boy and turned into a fighter.

Ongwen had personally ordered attacks on refugee camps in northern Uganda in the early 2000s by the LRA, which waged a bloody campaign to set up a state based on the Bible’s Ten Commandments, the judges said.

“His guilt has been established beyond any reasonable doubt,” presiding judge Bertram Schmitt said as he read out the verdict in the tribunal in The Hague. “The chamber is aware that he suffered much. However this case is about crimes committed by Dominic Ongwen as a responsible adult and a commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army.” Ongwen, nicknamed “White Ant”, will be sentenced at a later date and faces a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.