Uganda LRA rebel leader Ongwen faces ICC judges

2015-01-26 11:44
Top Lord's Resistance Army rebel Dominic Ongwen. (File: AFP)

Top Lord's Resistance Army rebel Dominic Ongwen. (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Hague - Notorious former Lord's Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen faces International Criminal Court judges for the first time on Monday, charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Once known as the "White Ant" for his brutal command within the Ugandan rebel army, led by fellow ICC fugitive Joseph Kony, Ongwen is to make his first appearance in The Hague at 13:00 GMT.

He was transferred to the ICC last week following his surrender to US special forces in the Central African Republic earlier this month and is the first Ugandan rebel to face ICC judges.

The former child soldier-turned-warlord is one of the main leaders of the LRA, which is accused of killing more than 100 000 people and abducting at least 60 000 children in a bloody rebellion that started in 1987.

Identity and language

Ongwen has been wanted for crimes for almost a decade by the ICC and the United States had offered a $5m reward for his capture.

During the initial hearing presiding judge Ekaterina Trendafilova will ask Ongwen to confirm his identity and decide which language will be used in the proceedings.

He will also be informed of the charges against him.

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

Major blow to LRA

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

His capture has been widely hailed by rights groups and the ICC's chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who said it took the world "one step closer to ending the LRA's reign of terror" in the restive African Great Lakes region.

Ongwen was abducted by the LRA at the age of 10 while on his way to school and turned into a child soldier, before rising through the ranks to become one of its top commanders.

Rights groups have pointed out that the fact Ongwen was initially himself a victim may be a mitigating factor, should Ongwen be found guilty and sentenced.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  lra  |  joseph kony  |  dominic ongwen  |  uganda  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.