Who Is Dominic Ongwen And Why Is He At The ICC Court?

Who Is Dominic Ongwen And Why Is He At The ICC Court?

By Farouk Chothia | From BBC News

Known as the White Ant, Dominic Ongwen was a 10-year-old boy walking to school in northern Uganda when he was abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel movement (LRA) and turned into one of its most ruthless commanders, according to campaign group LRA Crisis Tracker.

“It is a story of a child, like many in the LRA, forced to grow up in the image of their oppressors,” it says.

After his abduction in 1990, Mr Ongwen – whose surname means “born at the time of the white ant” – rose rapidly in rebel ranks, becoming a major at the age of 18 and a brigadier by his late 20s after winning the confidence of LRA leader Joseph Kony, LRA Crisis Tracker adds.

Claiming to fight for a biblical state, the LRA has killed more than 100,000 people and kidnapped more than 60,000 children during the three decade-long conflict which has spread to several of Uganda’s neighbours.

‘Daring missions’

The Enough Project, another campaign group, says that on Mr Kony’s orders, Mr Ongwen executed the LRA’s military offensives in 2002 and 2003 in several districts in northern Uganda.

“[He] earned the reputation of being able to emerge from the bloodiest of battles with few casualties among his fighters,” it says.

Read more at BBC News