KAMPALA, Uganda, Jan 13 – Captured Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army rebel chief Dominic Ongwen will be sent to the International Criminal Court to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, Uganda’s military said Tuesday.
Ongwen, who is in the custody of US special forces after surrendering in the Central African Republic last week, has been wanted by the ICC for almost a decade to face charges including murder, enslavement, inhumane acts and directing attacks against civilians.
“Finally it has been decided, Dominic Ongwen will be tried at the ICC in The Hague,” Ugandan army spokesman Paddy Ankunda said, ending speculation Kampala might seek to put the ex-rebel on trial in their own court.
“Ongwen will be conveyed to The Hague by CAR authorities… in consultation with the relevant bodies,” Ankunda said, adding he would be transferred “hopefully very soon,” without giving further details.
The LRA has been blamed for the slaughter of over 100,000 people and kidnapping of more than 60,000 children during a three-decade-long campaign across five central African nations. READ: Top LRA rebel in US custody, says Uganda army.
A former child soldier himself, Ongwen was a senior aide to LRA leader and warlord Joseph Kony.
Ongwen, who is in his mid-30s, is accused of directing bloody campaigns in northern Uganda in the early 2000s where thousands were killed or abducted to be used as child soldiers or sex slaves, as well as carrying out attacks on civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo.