Dominic Ongwen, an alleged senior leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group and a former child soldier, goes on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague on December 6, 2016. According to a 2005 ICC arrest warrant, Ongwen was a member of the “Control Altar” of the LRA, “the section representing the core LRA leadership responsible for devising and implementing LRA strategy, including standing orders to attack and brutalize civilian populations.”
Ongwen is charged with 70 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The rebel Lord’s Resistance Army carried out attacks in northern Uganda for more than two decades, during which the group abducted tens of thousands of children and forced them to join its ranks. At the peak of the LRA conflict, between 1.1 and 2 million people were displaced from their homes. The group continues to commit crimes throughout the region, including in the DRC, South Sudan, and CAR.
This briefing paper summarizes the background to Ongwen's trial, outlining some of the principle issues at stake, and setting out a short time-line of events.