Dominic Ongwen: former Ugandan youngster soldier jailed for struggle crimes

Dominic Ongwen was kidnapped as a toddler and handled by Ugandan rebels

A former Ugandan youngster soldier who turned commander of a infamous insurgent group has been jailed for struggle crimes.

Dominic Ongwen, now 45, was sentenced to 25 years in jail for crimes corresponding to homicide, rape and torture.

He’s the primary former Ugandan youngster soldier to be convicted and sentenced by the Worldwide Felony Courtroom.

Ongwen was kidnapped by the insurgent group of the Lord’s Resistance Military (LRA) on the age of 9 and ultimately turned a feared commander.

He was discovered responsible by the Worldwide Felony Courtroom (ICC) in February on 61 of 70 counts of crimes in opposition to humanity and struggle crimes.

The crimes relate to the assaults on 4 camps for internally displaced individuals in Uganda in 2004. Greater than 4,000 victims testified within the case, which was heard in The Hague.

Ongwen was convicted of sexual slavery, pressured marriage and the rape of seven girls who have been kidnapped and positioned in his house. These costs have been along with homicide, tried homicide and torture.

Regardless of the gravity of the crimes, judges who sentenced Ongwen on Thursday stated they determined to not impose the utmost life sentence as a result of he was kidnapped as a toddler on his solution to the town. major faculty within the late Eighties and cared for by rebels who had killed his mother and father.

However they came upon that he knowingly dedicated critical crimes as an grownup in the course of the LRA’s two-decade reign of terror within the 2000s.

“The chamber … is confronted with an writer who willfully brought about monumental struggling to his victims,” ​​Presiding Choose Bertram Schmitt stated. “Nonetheless, he additionally comes nose to nose with an writer who himself had beforehand endured excessive struggling by the hands of the group.”

The judges added that they hoped to provide him the chance to rehabilitate. His conviction signifies that victims can now start the method of looking for redress.

On the peak of his time with the LRA, Ongwen – referred to as White Ant as a result of his final identify means “born within the days of the white ant” – was the commander of the Sinia Brigade and some of the feared fighters within the insurgent motion.

He surrendered to US forces within the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2015 – they usually then handed him over to the Ugandan military.

The LRA was established over 30 years in the past, working in Uganda and neighboring international locations.

Led by Joseph Kony, it turned well-known for abducting 1000’s of youngsters to be used as troopers or intercourse slaves, and for mutilating civilians.

In 2005, the LRA was pressured out of Uganda by the military and rebels surrendered in what’s now South Sudan. They ultimately arrange a camp within the border space with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They then moved to CAR the place they acted extra like a legal staff partaking in poaching and unlawful mining.

The arrest warrants in opposition to Joseph Kony and different senior motion commanders stay unresolved.

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