The Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court on Thursday unveiled 70 charges of war crimes against Lord’s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen, including keeping sex slaves and recruiting child soldiers.
Read:Document containing the charges
Benjamin Gumpert told the judges that the accused “bears significant responsibility” for “terrifying attacks” in northern Uganda when civilians were treated by the rebel group as “the enemy”.
“Most of these crimes were committed between October 2003 and June 2004,” he added.
“For well over a decade until his arrest in January 2015, Dominic Ongwen was one of the most senior commanders in the LRA,” prosecutor Benjamin Gumpert told the court.
Ongwen is also facing charges for sexual and gender-based crimes. Additionally, he faces two counts of crimes against humanity for the conscription and use of child soldiers and one count of crimes against humanity for persecution. 10 of the 70 charges against him were filed on a confidential basis by the Prosecution due to security risks and protection issues and will be heard in private.
However, the prosecution noted that, Ongwen may be as much in sorrow as in anger since he was both a victim and a perpetrator, but good men can do bad things and bad men can do good things. There is no reason to commit crimes with impunity. We have a choice of how to behave. If our choice is to inflict pain then we are bound to answer,” said the prosecution.
Pre-Trial Chamber II is composed of Judge Cuno Tarfusser, Presiding Judge,Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut and Judge Chang-ho Chung.