By Justice Hub
In 2003, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni presented an official referral to the International Criminal Court for the crimes allegedly committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army. The LRA is a rebel group active since the late 80s in Uganda and neighbouring countries. It is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The charges include murder, abduction, mutilation, sexual slavery and forcing children to participate in hostilities. The conflict has left over 65,000 people dead and forced many more to flee their homes and take refuge in camps for internally displaced persons.
The ICC found Museveni’s referral worthy of consideration. On 29 January 2004, the then ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, met Museveni to publicly announce that the Court would act on his referral. An investigation was opened on 29 July 2004.
In July 2005, Pre-Trial Chamber II issued arrest warrants for five LRA leaders, including Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti and Dominic Ongwen. The other two – Raska Lukwiya and Okot Adhiambo – died in 2006.
Dominic Ongwen surrendered in July 2015. Ongwen is a victim who became a perpetrator. He was abducted by the LRA at the age of 14 while he was on his way to school. Then he was indoctrinated and forced to commit unspeakable atrocities when he was still underage. He ended up becoming one of the LRA’s commanders.
He is 35 years old. He appeared in Court for the first time last January. He is now in The Hague in ICC custody.
Editor’s note: Vincent Otti was reportedly killed in late 2007. The LRA confirmed rumors of his death in Februrary 2008.
This is part of a series of long-form infocomics about the situations that the ICC is dealing with:
- Why is DRC situation at the ICC?
- Why is CAR I situation at the ICC?
- Why is CAR II situation at the ICC?
- Why is the Kenya situation at the ICC?
- Why is the Mali situation at the ICC?
- Why is the Darfur situation at the ICC
The long-form infocomics are made by Italian journalist and cartoonist Emanuele del Rosso.