child soldiers

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Ex-LRA commander Dominic Ongwen surrounded by court guards and his defence lawyer at the ICC (Flickr/ICC-CPI)
28 January 2015 by Tjitske Lingsma, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), made his first appearance before the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday for a pretrial hearing. What now? IJT asked two experts what they expected of this first ICC case against a former child soldier-turned-perpetrator.

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Dominic Ongwen at the start of his ICC trial (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
06 December 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

The first day of the trial of former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen did not exactly go as planned for ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Whereas usually the opening of a case gives a podium to the prosecutor who can make sweeping statements about the responsibility of the accused for the atrocities they are charged with, in this case the Ongwen trial started with the defendant and his defence strategy squarely in the spotlight.

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Dominc Ongwen at the ICC for his confirmation of charges hearing (Photo: Twitter/ICC)
21 January 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

The confirmation of charges hearing of former Lord's Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen started before the International Criminal Court (ICC) 21 January.
Prosecutor Benjamin Gumpert painted a harrowing picture of a victim and former child soldier Dominic Ongwen [IJT-174] who turned into a perpetrator himself. Ongwen went on to play a “crucial” role in the LRA's practice of abducting children, some as young as six years old, to be used as child soldiers and women and girls to be used as sex slaves or so-called  forced wives of LRA fighters.

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Ex-LRA commander Dominic Ongwen makes his first appearance at the ICC (Flickr/ICC-CPI)
28 January 2015 by Samuel Egadu Okiror, Kampala (Uganda)

The handover of Dominic Ongwen, a notorious Ugandan commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), to the International Criminal Court (ICC) has raised debate on whether he should face trial or be pardoned.

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Painted portrait of Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (Flickr/home_of_chaos)
13 January 2015 by Samuel Egadu Okiror, Kampala (Uganda)

The Ugandan military on Tuesday announced that notorious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander Dominic Ongwen would be handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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28 May 2014 by Tjitske Lingsma, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Over two days, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo’s defence challenged key video footage supporting the verdict that convicted the Congolese militia leader in 2012 for using child soldiers. During an appeals hearing held last week at the International Criminal Court (ICC), two witnesses explained that although they might have looked like child soldiers, they were young adults.

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Thomas Lubanga at his appeals verdict (Flickr/ICC-CPI)
03 December 2014 by Benjamin Duerr, The Hague (The Netherlands)

This week the International Criminal Court (ICC), on appeal, upheld its first-ever verdict. However, the decision once again raises questions about the work of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) and the accused’s right to a fair trial.