- Title: Trial of LRA ex-commander resumes, with prosecution witness on stand
- Date: 16th January 2017
- Summary: RI-KWANGBA, SUDAN/DRC BORDER (FILE) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (REUTERS) LRA GENERAL JOSEPH KONY FORMER LRA SECOND IN COMMAND, VINCENT OTTI
- Embargoed: 30th January 2017 16:55
- Keywords: Uganda Ongwen war crimes civil war Lord's Resistance Army ICC International Criminal Court
- Location: THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS/ OWINY-KIBUL, SUDAN/ RI-KWANGBA, SUDAN/DRC BORDER/ OLWAL CAMP, GULU DISTRICT, UGANDA/ UNKNOWN LOCATION, UGANDA/ BARLONYO, NORTHERN UGANDA
- City: THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS/ OWINY-KIBUL, SUDAN/ RI-KWANGBA, SUDAN/DRC BORDER/ OLWAL CAMP, GULU DISTRICT, UGANDA/ UNKNOWN LOCATION, UGANDA/ BARLONYO, NORTHERN UGANDA
- Country: Netherlands
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0045ZBZVBB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: PLEASE NOTE, THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL ORIGINALLY 4:3
The International Criminal Court returned from New Year's recess on Monday (January 16), resuming with the trial of Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) top lieutenant Dominic Ongwen, a former child soldier himself who faces 70 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The prosecution placed its first witness Tim Allen on the stand, an expert who wrote a book on the Lord's Resistance Army.
Mr. Allen told the court he lived extensively in the region of south Sudan and Northern Uganda and followed LRA since its creation.
"I first went to South Sudan in 1980, I lived in South Sudan for four years, I spent some 18 months of that period working in the Acholi area of South Sudan, the area around Palataka, actually, where Lord's Resistance Army later had a base. Subsequently I lived in Northern Uganda, I lived there for three years altogether, working with Madi and Acholi populations," he said, adding that he wrote a PHD thesis on the Madi population and studied the Holy Spirit movement which became a precursor of the LRA.
Ongwen, who was abducted and pressed into service as a young teenager in 1988 in the group's guerilla war against the government of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, pleaded not guilty to charges including murder, rape and child kidnapping while fighting in Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army, saying Kony, not he, was behind the rebel group's rampage in northern Uganda.
Ongwen faces 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for attacks on refugee camps in northern Uganda between 2002 and 2005, including committing or directing acts of rape, sexual enslavement and of conscripting child soldiers.
The charge sheet was expanded to focus on sex crimes when Ongwen gave himself up last year after a decade on the run. The case is the first to charge forced marriage and forced pregnancy, where women are made pregnant against their will.
The ICC brought charges against Ongwen, Kony and four others who are believed dead, in 2005.
Ongwen gave himself up to U.S. troops, fearing for his life after falling out with Kony, who is still at large.
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