TOP

Ongwen transferred to ICC

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th January 2015 11:45 PM

Captured Lord''s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen has been put on a plane that left CAR Tuesday evening for the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

2015 1largeimg220 jan 2015 211527093 703x422

Captured Lord''s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen has been put on a plane that left CAR Tuesday evening for the International Criminal Court in the Hague.


Dominic Ongwen, a commander of the notorious Lord's Resistance Army who surrendered last week is on his way to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, a spokesman for the court said Tuesday.

Ongwen is one of the main leaders of the Uganda rebels who are accused of killing more than 100,000 people since 1986. He gave himself up to US special forces in the Central African Republic last week.

"His flight took off around 1700 GMT and he should arrive tomorrow morning," Fadi El Abdallah told AFP.

The ICC said in a statement that Ongwen was "accompanied by an ICC delegation".

He was handed over to authorities in the Central African Republic on Saturday for transfer to the ICC.

Ongwen surrendered last week, dealing a major blow to the LRA's three-decade-long campaign across several central African nations. He has been sought by the ICC for almost a decade to face charges that also include murder, enslavement, inhumane acts and directing attacks against civilians.

Ongwen first gave himself up to US troops in CAR, and was then handed over to Uganda's army, then to African Union troops and finally to the CAR's government, according to Ugandan officials.

Uganda said the final stage of the handover was witnessed by a US diplomat, but could not confirm if Ongwen was still in Bangui or already on a plane bound for The Hague.

A former child soldier himself, Ongwen was a senior aide to LRA leader and warlord Joseph Kony, who is still at large and being pursued by regional troops and US special forces.

'Murder and enslavement' 

The LRA first emerged in northern Uganda in 1986, where it claimed to fight in the name of the Acholi ethnic group against the government of Uganda.

But over the years the LRA has moved across the porous borders of the region: it shifted from Uganda to sow terror in southern Sudan before again moving to northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and finally crossing into southeastern CAR in March 2008.

Combining religious mysticism with an astute guerrilla mind and bloodthirsty ruthlessness, Kony has turned scores of young girls into his personal sex-slaves while claiming to be fighting to impose the Bible's Ten Commandments.

The LRA has been blamed for the slaughter of over 100,000 people, and kidnapping of more than 60,000 children.

Known as the "White Ant", Ongwen's troops excelled in punishment raids, which involved slicing off the lips and ears of victims as grim calling cards.

The US State Department accused him of "murder, enslavement and cruel treatment of civilians," and offered a $5 million bounty for information leading to his capture.

Uganda is a signatory to the ICC and is legally bound to hand over wanted suspects to the court.

However, President Yoweri Museveni last month called for African nations to quit the ICC, accusing the court of being used as a "tool to target" the continent.

Over 12,000 ex-LRA fighters -- mainly footsoldiers who were themselves abducted by the gunmen -- have been pardoned under a government amnesty designed to encourage those still in the bush to surrender.

AFP

Ongwen transferred to ICC

Related Articles

More From The Author

Related articles