Uganda rebel commander to be transferred to ICC
Uganda rebel commander to be transferred to ICC

[JURIST] After days of discussions, the Ugandan military decided on Tuesday to send Dominic Ongwen [BBC profile], a rebel leader with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) [State Department backgrounder], to trial in the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC has sought to try Ongwen, who is thought to be the second-in-command to Joseph Kony [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], since 2005 when an initial warrant of arrest [text] was issued. He is accused [official materials] of enslavement, inflicting serious bodily injury and directing attacks against civilian populations, among others, for his actions in the early 2000’s that saw him kill thousands and abduct children to be used as soldiers or sold as sex slaves.

The decision to send Ongwen to the ICC defeated opposition from the Ugandan government who wished to try him in the country after his surrender [JURIST report] in early January. Uganda continues to heal from the atrocities committed during the Ugandan Civil War [BBC backgrounder] and has taken strides to end the conflict bring to justice the perpetrators of that dark time. The organization, Invisible Children [advocacy website], opposes the actions of the LRA and has been instrumental in bringing to the forefront the efforts to capture Kony. In May 2012 a Major General of the LRA was captured [JURIST report] by force after having carried out an ambush in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The United States government also aided in the protection of Ugandan citizens by introducing legislation in early 2012 that would put in safe-guards in Uganda to prevent more attacks from Kony and the LRA.