War-Lord and LRA Joseph Kony’s second in-charge, Dominic Ongwen’s pre-trial has today kicked off in The Hague with 70 charges read for him. The live stream of the ICC hearing for Ongwen was being broadcast with a half hour delay here in Uganda as victims in Lukodi complained of language barrier, asking if a Luo translator could be provided.
[Photo credit: BBC in Lukodi nothern Uganda].
Prosecutor Benjamin Gumpert told court that "For well over a decade until his arrest in January 2015, Dominic Ongwen was one of the most senior commanders in the LRA." "This was not just a civil war between people in uniform... the LRA attacked ordinary Ugandan citizens who wanted no more than to live their lives."
Known as the White Ant, Dominic Ongwen was 10 years old, walking to school in northern Uganda. when he was abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army rebel movement.
He was reportedly captured in January last year by the Seleka rebel group in Central African Republic (CAR) and handed over to the US forces working with African Union troops in the region, before being transferred to the ICC.
Dominic became a top commander following abduction, he is now accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including enslavement. ICC issued arrest warrant in 2005 and he was rumored to have been killed in the same year.
US offered $5m (£3.3m) reward for information leading to his arrest in 2013. The trial is still ongoing for five days.