Ongwen Hearing May Be Politicized, Says UN Peace Ambassador

3496 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
The UN Peace Ambassador for Africa, Victor Ochen fears that holding case confirmation hearing against Dominic Ongwen in Northern Uganda may be politicized, since Uganda will be conducting general elections then.

A proposal to have Dominic Ongwen's ICC confirmation hearing in Uganda continues to draw reactions.
Victor Ochen, the Executive Director of African Youth Initiative Network and the United Nations Peace Ambassador for Africa fears holding case confirmation hearings against former Lord's Resistance Army commander Ongwen may be politicized, since Uganda will be conducting general elections.
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Ochen who was presiding over the launch of Sustainable Development Goals, a replacement of the Millennium Development Goals at Barlonyo in Lira district, urged the ICC to mind about the plight of war victims by providing meaningful justice.
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According to Ochen, holding hearing of confirmation charges against Ongwen in Northern Uganda will only hurt victims the more since it will not directly change their lives.
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Anna Akullu, 53, whose three children were burnt to death in Barlonyo, says it hurts to see ICC giving Ongwen all this special treatment and yet victims of his atrocities continue to suffer.
The LC 1 chairperson in the village of the Barlonyo massacre, Moses Ogwang says the ICC should concentrate on Ongwen's trial at The Hague as opposed to bringing him nearer to victims.
Bosco Otim, another victim instead wants the ICC to ensure arrest of LRA leader, Joseph Kony himself is arrested and tried.
In July, 2015, Maria Kamara, the outreach coordinator of the International Criminal Court confirmed the proposal to bring Ongwen to Gulu district in January, 2016 for the confirmation hearings.

Ongwen is the first LRA commander to be brought to ICC for trial. On 14th October 2005, ICC issued arrest warrants for crimes against humanity and war crimes for the five senior LRA leaders including Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, Dominic Ongwen, and Raska Lukwiya. 


About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN Bureau Chief Lira, Northern Uganda.A multimedia Journalist, Media trainer and investigative enthusiast. Lira,Apac,Dokolo,Oyam, Kwania, Otuke, Amolatar,and Alebtong districts fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.