Dominic Ongwen, Ugandan child soldier turned commander of the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity. by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday.
He was convicted in February on 61 counts and was found guilty of murder, rape, sexual slavery and conscripting child soldiers, among other charges.
Judge Bertram Schmitt while addressing Ongwen remarked that “… in light of the gravity of the crimes you have committed, the chamber sentences you to a total period of imprisonment of 25 years,”.
Ongwen ordered attacks on refugee camps in the early 2000s while serving as a commander of the LRA, an armed group led by fugitive Joseph Kony, which has waged a brutal war in Uganda and three neighboring countries to establish a state based on the Ten Commandments of the Bible.
Ongwen faced a life sentence. But the prosecution argued that Ongwen’s history of abduction by the rebel group when he was about nine years old warranted a lesser sentence, and requested 20 years in prison.