ICC judges at hand down sentence to ex-child soldier-turned-Lord’s Resistance Military commander for litany of battle crimes and crimes towards humanity in Uganda.
The Worldwide Legal Court docket (ICC) is because of sentence Dominic Ongwen, a former youngster soldier who grew to become one of many prime commanders of the insurgent Lord’s Resistance Military (LRA), for battle crimes and crimes towards humanity in Uganda.
The 45-year-old in February was discovered responsible of 61 costs together with murders, rapes and sexual enslavement throughout a reign of terror within the early 2000s by the LRA, led by the fugitive Joseph Kony.
Prosecutors have requested for a 20-year jail time period, saying Ongwen’s personal historical past as a schoolboy kidnapped by the LRA justifies a decrease sentence than the utmost 30 years to life allowed by the ICC.
“That is one circumstance that units this case aside from all of the others tried at this courtroom,” ICC prosecution lawyer Colin Black instructed a sentencing listening to on the Netherlands-based courtroom in April.
The defence is in search of a 10-year jail time period for Ongwen, who glided by the nom de guerre “White Ant” throughout assaults by his troopers on refugee camps in northern Uganda.
Victims of his crimes have requested the courtroom to impose the complete life sentence.
Ongwen instructed the courtroom the LRA compelled him to eat beans soaked with the blood of the primary folks he was made to kill as a part of a brutal initiation following his personal abduction aged 9.
“I’m earlier than this worldwide courtroom with so many costs, and but I’m the primary sufferer of kid abduction. What occurred to me I don’t even imagine occurred to Jesus Christ,” Ongwen mentioned.
His relations instructed Al Jazeera earlier this 12 months that many kids have been taken by the rebels on the time.
“We pray that he’s forgiven,” Johnson Odonga, Ongwen’s uncle, mentioned.
The LRA was based 30 years in the past by former Catholic altar boy and self-styled prophet Kony, who launched a bloody insurrection in northern Uganda towards President Yoweri Museveni. It has now largely been worn out.
However its brutal marketing campaign to arrange a state based mostly on Kony’s interpretation of the Bible’s Ten Commandments left greater than 100,000 folks lifeless and 60,000 kids kidnapped, in response to the United Nations. The violent marketing campaign finally unfold to Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic (CAR).
Judges mentioned of their verdict in February that Ongwen personally ordered his troopers to hold out mass killings of greater than 130 civilians on the Lukodi, Pajule, Odek, and Abok refugee camps between 2002 and 2005.
Civilians have been locked of their properties and burned to demise or overwhelmed through the killings, whereas moms have been made to move the LRA’s loot, forcing them to desert their toddler kids by the roadside.
Ongwen was additionally the primary individual convicted by the ICC of the crime of compelled being pregnant, for abducting and raping so-called “wives”, a few of whom have been underage.
Prosecutor Black mentioned that Ongwen’s personal historical past as a toddler soldier “doesn’t in any means diminish the gravity of the crimes, nor does it diminish his felony culpability”.
“Nonetheless we contemplate them to be distinctive particular person circumstances of a sort that warrant a major discount in sentence,” he added.
Ongwen surrendered to US particular forces who have been searching Kony in CAR in early 2015.