Dominic Ongwen

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Dominic Ongwen is the commander of the Sinia Brigade of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group founded in northern Uganda. As the head of one of the four LRA brigades, Ongwen is a member of the "Control Altar" of the LRA that directs military strategy. Ongwen is the lowest ranking of the five LRA leaders for whom the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued their first ever warrants in June 2005. He is charged with seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes.[1]

In 1990 at the age of 10, Ongwen was abducted by the LRA as he walked to school, and subsequently indoctrinated as an LRA fighter.[2]

Ongwen was reported killed in combat with a unit of the Uganda People's Defence Force on October 10, 2005, and the identity of the body was confirmed by former LRA commanders.[3] However, in July 2006, the ICC reported that genetic fingerprinting of the body confirmed that it was not that of Ongwen. News reports at this time put Ongwen in southwest Equatoria, Southern Sudan, attempting to rejoin LRA head Joseph Kony in Garamba, Ituri Province, northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ongwen and a former wife featured in a film Picking up the Pieces by IRIN and released in October 2007.[4] Uganda People's Defence Force spokesperson Maj. Felix Kulayije commented, "Unfortunately, the bastard is still alive."[5]

On January 6, 2015, Ongwen either surrendered to American special forces [6] or was captured by a Seleka rebel group and handed over to the Americans[7] in the Central African Republic. The Americans in turn handed Ongwen over either to Ugandan[8] or Central African Republic[9] forces who would send him for trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.[10]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Arrest Warrant for Dominic Ongwen (public and redacted PDF), International Criminal Court, 8 July 2005
  2. ^ "The complex story of a child soldier," by Ledio Cakaj, Washington Post, 12 January 2015
  3. ^ Submission of Information Regarding Dominic Ongwen (PDF), ICC, 5 October 2005
  4. ^ Picking up the Pieces IRIN documentary, October 2007
  5. ^ ICC Unseals Results of Dominic Ongwen DNA Tests, ICC Press release, 7 July 2006 and ‘Dead’ LRA chief alive, New Vision, 10 July 2006
  6. ^ "BBC News - LRA rebel Dominic Ongwen surrenders to US forces in CAR". BBC News. 
  7. ^ Chothia, Farouk (14 January 2015) Profile: Dominic Ongwen of Uganda's LRA BBC News, Africa, Retrieved 14 January 2015
  8. ^ (14 January 2015) LRA commander Dominic Ongwen 'in Ugandan custody' BBC News, Africa, Retrieved 14 January 2015
  9. ^ Oluka, Benon Herbert and Ssekika, Edward (14 January 2015) Why USA held onto LRA man The Observer, Uganda, retrieved 14 January 2015
  10. ^ "Ugandan LRA rebel commander Dominic Ongwen to be tried at ICC: army," Daily Nation, 13 January 2015

External links[edit]