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Uganda: Captured LRA Commander Going to Hague

  • VOA News

FILE: Dominic Ongwen

FILE: Dominic Ongwen

Uganda says a top Lord's Resistance Army commander captured last week will be handed over to the International Criminal Court.

Ugandan army spokesman Paddy Ankunda said in a Twitter message Tuesday that "Dominic Ongwen will be tried at the ICC in the Hague."

He said Ongwen will be transferred to The Hague by authorities in the Central African Republic, where Ongwen turned himself in on January 6.

A U.S. military spokesman said Tuesday that Ongwen is in the custody of U.S. advisors helping a regional counter-LRA force in Central Africa.

"We have taken custody of an individual that we have high confidence to be Dominic Ongwen," he said. "We are still working to finalize confirmation of his identity."

Warren said the man believed to be Ongwen initially surrendered to a "third party" who claimed to be part of the rebel group Seleka.

He said he had seen Uganda's statement but said, "It is simply too soon to start talking about [the] next steps" with Ongwen.

The LRA is accused of killing and kidnapping tens of thousands of people over the past three decades, first in an uprising against the Ugandan government, then as a roving band of fighters in Congo, South Sudan, and the C.A.R.

Ongwen is one of five LRA leaders charged by the ICC with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A human rights group, The Enough Project, says Ongwen was kidnapped by the LRA as a child in 1990 and eventually rose to become a high-ranking commander in the rebel group.

VOA Pentagon Correspondent Carla Babb contributed to this report.

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