The International Criminal Court on Thursday threw out an appeal by Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan child soldier-turned-commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, against his conviction for war crimes.
Dominic Ongwen, who was himself abducted aged nine by the rebel group led by the fugitive Joseph Kony, was found guilty last year of murder, rape and sexual enslavement in northern Uganda during the early 2000s.
“The appeals chamber unanimously rejects all the grounds of appeal,” said Judge Luz del Carmen Ibanez Carranza, adding that the court would rule later Thursday on Ongwen’s appeal against his 25-year sentence.
Appeals judges dismissed Ongwen’s arguments about his own past as a child combatant and that he suffered from mental illness, saying that he had a key role in the LRA’s atrocities as an adult.
The LRA was founded three decades ago by former Catholic altar boy and self-styled prophet Joseph Kony, who launched a bloody rebellion in northern Uganda against President Yoweri Museveni.
Defence lawyers argued earlier this year that Ongwen, who is believed to be in his mid-40s but whose birth date remains unclear, had been scarred by his own experience as a youth in the LRA. Read more