Dominic Ongweni former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander is set to begin his trial on December 6. The trial is to be held at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said.
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Ongweni was confirmed with over 70 charges earlier this year by the ICC for crimes committed in Uganda, including keeping sex slaves and recruiting child soldiers.
Dominic Ongweni would be the first LRA member to face trial at the ICC, set up in 2002 to try the world’s worst crimes.
HRW said that his charges would be read. Then followed by opening statements from the prosecution lawyers who represented several thousand victims involved in the case. The case would then be adjourned until January 16, 2017, when the prosecution will begin to present its evidence.
“The ICC trial of Dominic Ongweni is a significant first on justice for LRA atrocities, said Elise Kepler, , associate international justice director at HRW.
“The LRA leadership is reviled worldwide for its brutality against African, but never before has an Lord Resistance Army commander faced trial,” she said.
Dominic Ongweni himself was abducted as a child, at the age of 9, and later became a senior LRA commander.
The LRA has committed atrocities against civilians for nearly three decades. The armed group has abducted tens of thousands of children for use as soldiers and sexual slaves. And also killed and maimed thousands of civilians in remote regions of northern Uganda, northeastern DRCongo , Sudan and Central African Republic.
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