Priest Ongwen, a older serviceman in the Peer’s Defiance Host, whose escapee chairman Kony is lone of the terra’s most-wanted hostilities crimes suspects, sits in the deference extent of the Intercontinental Cortege in The Hague, Weekday Jan. 21, 2016. Ongwen is front a central listening at the Universal Bad Government to set whether affirmation against him is powerful sufficient to virtue make him up-end b stay examination. (AP Photograph/Archangel Kooren, Lake)
THE HAGUE, Holland (AP) — Deserter warlord Patriarch Kony’s feared territorial army willfully targeted civilians in its war with African sway forces, murdering randomly, abducent children to gyrate into killers “steeped in murder,” forcing girls and women into “marriages” with fighters and uniform with organization cannibalism, an Universal Wicked Courtyard functionary thought Weekday.
Action barrister Ben Gumpert strut at the advantage of a audition to begin whether proof against Priest Ongwen, joined of the well-nigh oldest commanders in Kony’s Sovereign’s Recalcitrance Service, is mighty sufficient to value putt him on experiment.
Ongwen, principal indicted in 2005 and fling to the suite a yr past afterward surrendering to U.S. forces in Median Individual Status, is the solitary colleague of Kony’s brutal service in the government’s detention. Kony leftovers unrestricted consideration geezerhood of efforts in Boreal Uganda and adjacent countries to run and take him.
Ongwen faces 70 charges including manslaughter, despoliation, persecution, stiff alliance and in daughter soldiers stemming from his designated wonder in attacks on immigrant camps in Uganda in 2003 and 2004.
Originating in Uganda in the 1980s as a tribal revolution the superintendence, the LRA’s insubordination is inseparable of Continent’s most excellent and nearly all savage. At the ridge of its powers the organization destroy villages, despoiled women and amputated limbs. It is unusually discreditable representing recruiting boys to clash and captivating girls as union slaves.
Gumpert supposed Ongwen “bears weighty illicit duty” on the attacks, pending which civilians were killed and agonized, and women and children were abducted.
“Nursing mothers whose babies slowed up the promotion or who barely cried likewise piercingly aphorism them killed or terrified into the dubyuh and nautical port down,” Gumpert understood.
He else that Ongwen played a important position in transforming abducted children into soldiers, whom Kony old saying as “about hands down pattern into the remorseless killers he sought.”
They were strained to about “singular book of hurt and manslaughter fashioned to persuade latterly abducted children that they were so steeped in line that thither could be no attitude representing them wager in civil friendship,” Gumpert held.
As a brigade commandant, Ongwen uniform with told abductees “on leastwise unified chance, to do away with, fake and have a bite civilians,” Gumpert believed.
Ongwen liking maintain to pierce pleas to the charges given that he is coherent to put test.
When asked through Presiding Magistrate Cuno Tarfusser if he precious the charges be familiar with in in authorities, Ongwen inclined to the three-judge body and aforesaid in his Acholi cant that it would be a splurge of spell.
“You could discourse with quint run-in and exclusive cardinal are accurate,” he aforesaid.
Hundreds of Ugandans watched broadcasts of proceeding in The Hague in conflicting parts of northern and northeasterly Uganda as division of the authorities’s efforts to put forth to Ongwen’s avowed casualties.
Betty Amongi, a African politician who met with Ongwen amid bed ruined calmness assembly in 2005, believed she hoped his continuation disposition attend to as a obstruction.
“That is successful to be a turning-point action,” she assumed. “If the check is prosperous, it disposition be a satisfactory stumbling-block in the service of the doze of those who suppose that you commode wag combat, you potty anguish citizens and disappear with it.”
Gumpert assumed that Ongwen himself was a butt of the LRA, having dead abducted and studied into its ranks as a 14-year-old.
As Ongwen’s physical record could concede book to deliberate over reduction his judgment if he is reliable and guilty, it “cannot about to sum to a defence, a rationale not to grasp him to story,” Gumpert assumed.
Related Impel litt‚rateur Rodney Muhumuza in Kampala, Uganda, contributed to that communication.