Teso Divided Over Ongwen's New Charges

1494 Views Soroti, Uganda

In short
The ICC prosecutor has announced that 60 new charges will be brought against LRA commander, Dominic Ongwen, following fresh investigations. Teso leaders are however divided on whether the victims will benefit from this.

Teso region leaders are divided over the new charges brought by prosecution against former Lord's Resistance Army Commander, Dominic Ongwen. This week, the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda said she would bring 60 new charges against Ongwen.
 
The LC 3 chairperson, Gweri sub-county in Soroti district, Tom Julius Ekudo recalls to have been displaced after LRA incursion into Teso, and feels Ongwen should face the law. Ekudo claims that hundreds of children abducted by LRA rebels from Teso have not returned to date, and calls for even more charges against him.
 
//Cue in:  The people of Teso suffered…."
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Rev. Esakan Okwi from Church of Uganda, Soroti Diocese appealed to ICC to hold Dominic Ongwen responsible for personal crimes he committed while with LRA rebels. Okwi says every man should be held accountable and responsible for every action or decision he takes as a mature person.
 
//Cue in:  We know what the LRA  â€¦."
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Some of the leaders however say the new charges will hinder reconciliation and forgiveness. Papras Imodot, the founder of Iteso Cultural Union who spent one day with the rebels after he was abducted on 6th August feels Ongwen should be pardoned.
 
//Cue in:  If he apologises.. â€¦."
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Tubur sub-county councilor, Jorem Obiol believes all these charges against Ongwen will discourage captives and LRA leaders from abandoning war and returning home. According to him, the best thing to do is to pardon Ongwen and encourage other rebels to surrender.
 
//Cue in:  There are many other ..…."
Cue out" … best way//
 
The ICC has conscripted 60 new charges against Ongwen, and many of these are from attacks in Teso.  Ongwen will now face a total of 67 charges including murder, outrages upon personal dignity, destruction of property, torture, forced marriage, rape, and sexual slavery. 

The new charges that will be brought against Ongwen include in December include crimes committed during attacks in Pajule, Odek, Abok and Lukodi IDP camp.