Former Ugandan youngster soldier jailed for conflict crimes

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

A former Ugandan youngster solider who turned a commander in a infamous insurgent group has been jailed for conflict crimes.

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

He’s the primary former Ugandan youngster solider to be convicted and sentenced by the Worldwide Prison Court docket.

Ongwen was kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Military (LRA) insurgent group when he was 9 years previous and finally turned a feared commander.

He was convicted by the Worldwide Prison Court docket (ICC) in February on 61 of 70 counts of crimes towards humanity and conflict crimes.

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

Ongwen was discovered responsible of sexual slavery, compelled marriage and the rape of seven girls who had been kidnapped and positioned into his family. These fees had been along with homicide, tried homicide and torture.

Regardless of the gravity of the crimes, judges sentencing Ongwen on Thursday mentioned they determined to not give the utmost life sentence as a result of he was kidnapped as a toddler on his option to faculty within the late Nineteen Eighties and groomed by rebels who had killed his dad and mom.

However they discovered he had knowingly dedicated critical crimes as an grownup through the LRA’s two decade reign of terror within the 2000s.

“The chamber… is confronted with a perpetrator who wilfully introduced large struggling upon his victims,” presiding decide Bertram Schmitt mentioned. “Nonetheless, it is usually confronted with a perpetrator who himself had beforehand endured excessive struggling by the hands of the group.”

The judges added that they hoped to present him the chance to rehabilitate. His conviction signifies that victims can now begin the method of in search of reparations.

On the top of his time with the LRA, Ongwen – referred to as White Ant as a result of his surname means “born on the time of the white ant” – was the commander of the Sinia brigade and one of the feared fighters within the insurgent motion.

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

The LRA was fashioned greater than 30 years in the past, working in Uganda and neighbouring nations.

Led by Joseph Kony, it turned infamous for abducting 1000’s of kids to make use of as troopers or intercourse slaves, and for mutilating civilians.

In 2005, the LRA was compelled out of Uganda by the military and the rebels went into what’s now South Sudan. They finally set-up camp within the border space with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

They later moved to CAR the place they acted extra like a prison outfit partaking in poaching and unlawful mining.

Arrest warrants for Joseph Kony and different high commanders of the motion stay excellent.

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