The International Criminal Court (ICC) sitting in Hague has sentenced former Lord’s Resistance Army commander, Dominic Ongwen to 25 years imprisonment after being found guilty of crimes against humanity committed during the insurgency in Northern Uganda.
Nicknamed Ongwen also nicknamed the “White Ant”, was facing 70 charges stemming from offences committed while serving as a commander in the rebel outfit commanded by Joseph Kony but earlier this year was found guilty of 61 charges.
On Thursday, the court in Hague sentenced him to 25 years in jail for his role in the crimes against humanity.
“The chamber is confronted in the present case with a unique situation. It is confronted with a perpetrator who willfully brought tremendous suffering upon his victims. However, it is also confronted with a perpetrator who himself had previously endured extreme suffering himself at the hands of the group of which he later became a prominent member and leader,” said ICC Presiding Judge Bertram Schmitt.
The judge said Ongwen brought untold suffering to the victims of the war in Northern Uganda.
The Ugandan government in 2005 referred five top LRA leaders including Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Raska Lukwiya, Dominic Ongwen and Odhiambo Okot to the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity in northern Uganda.
However, of these, only Ongwen and Kony are still alive with the rest believed to have been killed.
Ongwen becomes the first LRA commander to be tried, convicted, and sentenced for charges related to the Northern Uganda insurgency before the ICC.