Ugandan LRA rebel commander to be tried at ICC: army

A file photo taken on September 20, 2006 shows a column of around forty Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) fighters emerging from thick bush at Ri-Kwangba on southern Sudan's border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. A man claiming to be one of the top commanders of the brutal Lord's Resistance Army has surrendered to American forces in the Central African Republic, a US official said on January 6, 2015. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that a man saying he was senior LRA leader Dominic Ongwen had defected, and was in the custody of US forces deployed in the hunt for LRA leader Joseph Kony in the Central African Republic.

KAMPALA - Captured Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army rebel chief Dominic Ongwen will be sent to the International Criminal Court to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, Uganda's military said Tuesday.

"Finally it has been decided, Dominic Ongwen will be tried at the ICC in The Hague," Ugandan army spokesman Paddy Ankunda said.

Ongwen is in the custody of US special forces after surrendering in the Central African Republic last week.

"Ongwen will be conveyed to The Hague by CAR authorities," Ankunda added.

The LRA has been blamed for the slaughter of over 100,000 people and kidnapping of more than 60,000 children during a three-decade-long campaign across five central African nations.

A former child soldier himself, Ongwen was a senior aide to LRA leader and warlord Joseph Kony.

Ongwen, who is in his mid-30s, is accused of directing bloody campaigns in northern Uganda in the early 2000s where thousands were killed or abducted to be used as child soldiers or sex slaves, as well as carrying out attacks on civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The US State Department accuses him of "murder, enslavement and cruel treatment of civilians", and had offered a $5 million bounty for information leading to his capture.

Long driven out of Uganda, small bands of LRA fighters now roam forest regions of CAR, DR Congo, Sudan and South Sudan.

Uganda is a signatory to the ICC and is legally bound to hand over wanted suspects to the court.

However, President Yoweri Museveni last month called for African nations to quit the ICC, accusing the court of being used as a "tool to target" the continent.

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