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Thu May 6, 2021, 09:01 AM

ICC sentences Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army leader to 25 years

Source: The Guardian

ICC sentences Ugandan Lordís Resistance Army leader to 25 years

Former child soldier Dominic Ongwen committed crimes against humanity as commander in cult

Jason Burke Africa correspondent
Thu 6 May 2021 13.09 BST

The international criminal court has sentenced a former militia leader and child soldier from Uganda to 25 years in prison after he was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity in a landmark judgment.

The presiding judge, Bertram Schmitt, said the panel of judges had considered sentencing Dominic Ongwen to life imprisonment, the courtís harshest punishment, but had sided against it due to the defendantís own personal suffering.

Ongwen was convicted in February on charges of murder, rape, sexual slavery, abduction and torture committed as a commander in the Lordís Resistance Army (LRA), a violent cult which waged a bloody campaign in Uganda and neighbouring countries from the mid-1980s until only a few years ago.

The court rejected defence arguments that because Ongwen was abducted by the LRA at the age of 10 he had committed any crimes under duress.

The 41-year-old was ďa perpetrator who wilfully brought tremendous suffering upon his victims, however, also a perpetrator who himself has previously endured extreme suffering at the hands of the group of which he later became a prominent member and leaderĒ, Schmitt said on Thursday as he announced the sentence.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2021/may/06/icc-sentences-ugandan-lords-resistance-army-leader-dominic-ongwen-to-25-years

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