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Friday,October 19,2018 21:16 PM

Witchdoctor testifies at ICC

By Carol Natukunda

Added 4th October 2018 05:51 PM

The witness, who identified himself as an "Ajwaki" (Acholi for witchdoctor) also alleged Kony's spirituality had helped him to elude the government forces for more than three decades.

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The witness, who identified himself as an "Ajwaki" (Acholi for witchdoctor) also alleged Kony's spirituality had helped him to elude the government forces for more than three decades.

PIC:  Kony, former LRA commander is linked to civilian killings in internally displaced people's camps between 2002 and 2004. 

Rebel leader Joseph Kony was driven by invisible spiritual powers to commit atrocities, a witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) Thursday.

The witness, who identified himself as an "Ajwaka" (Acholi for witchdoctor) also alleged Kony's spirituality had helped him to elude the government forces  for more than three decades.

Millions of people in northern Uganda were killed and many others displaced by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) war that took place between 1988 to 1997.

“Kony has a spirit. And he calls himself Lord.  When he is referring to his group as the Lord's, he thinks the spirit is coming from God," the witness whose face and voice were concealed for safety reasons told court.

He added: "That is the reason Kony has been in the bush for long. He can see government forces coming. That is the power of the spirits. You know what is going to happen when the spirit tells you what it wants you to do. If it tells you to leave, you leave. If it says stop, you stop. And if it tells you to kill, you kill."

This is the second defence witness, coded as number 150, testifying in the trial of Dominic Ongwen at  ICC.

The former LRA commander is linked to civilian killings in internally displaced people's camps between 2002 and 2004.

He is also accused of murder, rape, sexual slavery, torture, destruction of property, abduction and use of children below 15 to participate in the hostilities.

The witness further narrated the traditional beliefs regarding spirituality and herbal medicine.

The presiding judge  Bertram Schmitt looked amused as the witness said "spirits are real. And I can confirm this."

Court further heard that LRA abductees often unconsciously carried out hostilities on the civilians.

" There are some children who upon return were brought to me for therapy and I would ask them what happened in the bush. They would tell me when you are there; something stops you from going home even if you are nearby.  I asked them what made them lose interest to return and they said they they didn't know. 

“I believe Kony used spirits to create confusion in them and to control their minds," the witness said.

Asked by the defence counsel Krispus Ayena if the alleged spirits monitor what one does, the witness emphatically stated: “Yes it does."

The trial continues tomorrow

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