The International Criminal Court convicted Ongwen, 45, in February this year on 61 crimes including rape, sexual enslavement, child abductions, torture and murder as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Dominic Ongwen During The Juba Peace Talks
based International Criminal Court (ICC) has handed Dominic Ongwen, a former
commander in the rebel Lord's Resistance Army-LRA a 25-year jail term. A panel
of three justices led by Bertam Schmitt delivered the verdict on Thursday morning.
The other judges
on the panel are Peter Kouvacs and Raul Cano Pangalangan. The justices noted
that they decided to jail the former war load for 25-year jails because of the
magnitude of the atrocities he committed so as to deter similar offenses in the
future and prove the position of the world in condemning the atrocities
committed by the LRA.
Raul had opted for a 30-year jail term, saying on grounds that the 61 counts
slapped against Ogwen were not light offenses. According to the ICC,
Ongwen will serve his sentence outside the ICC but in a yet to be identified
facility in one of the state parties to the ICC.
also said that the process of reparation for the LRA victims will commence
immediately. The International Criminal Court convicted Ongwen, 45, in February
this year on 61 crimes including rape, sexual enslavement, child abductions,
torture and murder as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity.
He reportedly committed the crimes in Northern Uganda between 2002
and 2005 in Abok, Lukodi, Odek and Pajule Internally Displaced Camps. During
the trial, the prosecutions led by Fatou Bensouda had asked the court to hand
Ongwen over 25-years in jail.
However, Ongwen`s defense team led by Cryspus Oyena asked the court to give
their client a jail term of less than ten years because he was a victim of the
same situation following his abduction as a young boy. Ongwen, who surrendered
in 2015, is the first LRA top commander to be convicted by the ICC.
In July 2005, the court issued sealed arrest warrants for top
five LRA commanders including Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Raska Lukwiya, Okot
Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen. Lukwiya and Otti were killed in 2006 and 2007
respectively. Odhiambo’s body was found in the Central African Republic
in early 2015 while Kony remains at large in the vast forests of the Central
African Republic and DRC.
Joseph Kony, formerly an altar boy in the Catholic Church in Odek Sub County
founded the LRA about 30-years ago. The group is suspected to have led to the
death of more than 100,000 people, abduction of 60,000 and displaced millions
of people, according to the United Nations.
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc