Uganda: LRA Commander Dominic Ongwen should face justice

On 6 January, Dominic Ongwen surrendered to US military personnel in the Central African Republic (CAR), where African and US troops are fighting against the Lord Resistance Army (LRA). FIDH and FHRI welcome the apprehension of LRA Commander Dominic Ongwen and call for his transfer to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and prompt trial to face justice for the massive atrocities committed by the LRA.

"The surrender and detention of Dominic Ongwen is a major event. We hope it will contribute to weaken and put an end to the atrocities committed by the LRA" , declared our organisations. "Ongwen has been a fugitive for too long. States should now cooperate to make sure that LRA victims obtain justice, starting with the dozens of victims participating in ICC proceedings" .

FIDH and FHRI call the USA to cooperate with the enforcement of the arrest warrant and to transfer him to the ICC where he will be subject to a fair trial.

Ongwen joined the Ugandan rebellion in 1990, as a 10 year old recruited child and became part of the LRA core command structure, playing a central role in massive killings, abduction of children and other international crimes committed by LRA in Northern Uganda, Northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and CAR.

On 6 May 2005, the International Criminal Court charged him with three counts of crimes against humanity (murder, enslavement, inhumane acts of inflicting serious bodily injury and suffering) and four counts of war crimes (murder ; cruel treatment of civilians ; intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population ; pillaging ) allegedly committed in Uganda from 2002 to 2004. Ongwen has been a fugitive since then.

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