Ugandan militia commander Dominic Ongwen’s victims to receive $52 million as compensation in ICC ruling

FILE PHOTO: Dominic Ongwen, a former Ugandan child soldier who became a commander of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), appears before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands December 15, 2022. Sem van der Wal/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Summary:

  • ICC orders $52 million compensation for Ugandan militia victims, including nearly 50,000 affected by LRA atrocities led by Dominic Ongwen. Ongwen lacks funds; ICC Trust Fund for Victims to assist. Kony, LRA leader, remains at large.


Tens of thousands of victims of Ugandan militia commander Dominic Ongwen should get a total of $52 million in compensation, International Criminal Court judges ruled on Wednesday, in a record reparations order.

Judges said Ongwen, a former child-soldier who rose through the ranks to become one of the top commanders of the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), did not have the resources to pay the compensation himself.

Instead they asked the tribunal’s own Trust Fund for Victims to help cover the cost.

Ongwen was convicted to 25 years in prison in 2021 on 60 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including rape, murder and child abduction. He is currently serving his sentence in Norway.

Led by fugitive warlord Joseph Kony, the LRA terrorized Ugandans for nearly 20 years as it fought the government of President Yoweri Museveni from bases in northern Uganda and neighbouring countries. The militia has been largely wiped out, but Kony remains one of the ICC’s most wanted fugitives.

The total victims are estimated at almost 50,000.

(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten)

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