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Ongwen's Defense: LRA War Creation of Government

Fadi Abdallah, the ICC Spokesperson, however says they can only work on cases that are referred to them and not political statements and things that are not yet before court.
Dominic Ongwens defense team
The defense team of Dominic Ongwen at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has blamed Government for northern Uganda war led by Joseph Kony. 

Ongwen's lead lawyer, Crispus Ayena Odongo told journalists at The Hague based ICC the Lord's Resistance Army-LRA emerged in Northern Uganda because of the political situation in the region and mistreatment of people there.

 

He says that the fact that Government failed to end the war and rescues those abducted shows that they knew what they were doing. The team wonders why the army that was one of the big players in the war isn't mentioned in the ongoing trial at ICC.

He asked the ICC Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda to consider the testimonies from the witnesses from Uganda appearing before the court and available information.

 

"When you look at the situation then in Northern Uganda, it enabled the existence of rebels, and that was the point when Government should have stopped this war. Many people lost their lives yet government took its time in solving the case," Ayena said.

 

 

 

 

He noted that it takes two to tangle, adding that all those involved in the war should be brought to the ICC. Ayena says there is a lot of evidence pointing to crimes committed by the army other than LRA. He says for instance they have video evidence from top Army officers confessing the role of the army and the president in the war.

 

 

Ayena also says while Kony is the main player in the LRA war ICC is taking Ongwen like the major player. Charles Achaleke Taku, another defense counsel, says Government failed in its constitutional mandate to protect Ongwen and other children from abduction.

 

He says Ongwen was abducted as a child and in this case, it is the Government that is supposed to stand trial before ICC. He says as the defense team, they will rely on the fact that Ongwen was abducted as a child and indoctrinated.

 

Fadi Abdallah, the ICC Spokesperson, however says they can only work on cases that are referred to them and not political statements and things that are not yet before court.

Ongwen, who is currently before the ICC, faces 70 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes for his alleged involvement in the Lukodi, Abok, Odek and Pajule attacks.  He surrendered in 2015.

The LRA ravaged northern Uganda killing thousands and displacing many to Internally Displaced People's-IDPs camps. 

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