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Iran Press TV

Ugandan rebel commander in Hague dock

Iran Press TV

Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:10PM

Infamous Ugandan rebel chief, Dominic Ongwen, who unexpectedly gave himself up earlier in the month, has appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) to be tried for war crimes.

Ongwen was in the dock on Monday accused of crimes ranging from enslavement to mutilation and murder. He gave himself up in the Central African Republic before transfer to the ICC's prison.

"I was abducted in 1988 and I was taken to the bush when I was 14 years old until now," he said at the trial.

"Prior to my arrival at court I was a soldier in the LRA," he said in reference to Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), where he commands a brigade.

The LRA is responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 people and more than 60,000 child kidnappings during a 30-year-long campaign in five Central African nations.

The court issued a warrant for Ongwen in July 2005 on seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The rebel leader was one of the senior aids of feared LRA leader and warlord Joseph Kony.

Ongwen is accused of heading deadly campaigns in northern Uganda in the early last decade, where thousands were slain or kidnapped to be used as sex slaves or child soldiers.

His troops, who were known as "White Ant," specialized in punishment raids during which they would slice off their victim's ears and lips.

Human rights organizations say Ongwen rose very quickly through the ranks of the LRA, while former co-combatants praise him for his fearlessness at the head of the Sinia Brigade.

HN/HSN/SS



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