By Kiyimba Bruno
Dominic Ongwen, historically a feared soldier of the Lords Resistance Army *(LRA) told the judges a funny and dramatic story as he faced the ICC for charges in Northern Uganda.
“in the name of the almighty God i deny all these allegations” said Ongwen.
According to Ongwen, he is not LRA. Ongwen continues to narate that he entered LRA when he was ayoung boy who was still in school at the age of 10. He was forced by the LRA to join them and start doing all the attrociies that are charged against him.
“In fact at that age i was an innocent kid who did not undersand anything. all that i startd doing in fear of being killed” Adds Ongwen
The court official used 20 minutes to read the 70 charges against Ongwen. They involved murder, attempted murder, torture, rape, sexual slavery and, for the first time, “forced pregnancy” and “forced marriage”.
The prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the court that past victimisation as a child might be a mitigating factor in sentencing but was not a defence of Ongwen’s alleged decision to “wholeheartedly” embrace violence.
“Ongwen was directly involved in many attacks on civilians … He knew that the crimes he committed were part of widespread and systematic attacks … He played a crucial role in …. the abduction of children in order to maintain the fighting strength of the LRA,” she told the court.
As all this was happening, work many people were seen on televisions watching and trying to follow the case as the judges took on the proceedings.
according to Okot, one of the residents of Arua,he says that they want justice and there is no time other than this.
“If it all goes well,diginity shall be brought back to Ugandans” added Okot.