International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Witness Says Water, Food, Clothing Became Harder to Get for the LRA in 2003

A former member of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) described to the International Criminal Court (ICC) what he did during attacks on the Abok, Lukodi, and Odek camps for internally displaced people (IDP) 13 years ago.

Witness P-406, who testified between Monday and Wednesday this week, also described to the court how the LRA abducted him when he was 16 years old and his duties as an escort to a number of LRA commanders. He was the first witness to testify when the court resumed hearings on February 19 after a two-week break.

Witness P-406 is the 62nd prosecution witness to testify in the trial of Dominic Ongwen, a former LRA commander. Ongwen has been charged for his alleged role in the … Continue Reading

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Witness Says He was Under Ongwen’s Command, Defense Doubts It

A former fighter with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) told the International Criminal Court (ICC) about his abduction 15 years ago and his role in an attack on the Pajule camp for internally displaced people (IDP).

Witness P-307 also told the court what he did as an escort in the LRA for the approximately two years he was with the group. Krispus Ayena Odongo, the lead lawyer for Dominic Ongwen, challenged Witness P-307’s testimony that he was a member of a group under the command of Ongwen.

Ongwen is on trial at the ICC for crimes he is alleged to have committed while he was a commander in the LRA’s Sinia brigade between July 2002 and December 2005. He has been charged … Continue Reading

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Witness Sobs as He Testifies About LRA Attack on Odek

A former fighter for the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) told the International Criminal Court (ICC) about two attacks on camps for internally displaced people (IDP) 13 years ago, at times sobbing as he described his role in the attacks on Odek and Lukodi.

Witness P-410 also told the court on Wednesday, January 31, about how he tried to save the lives of a family during the Lukodi attack in 2004, but another LRA fighter later locked them in their home and burned them alive.

The witness testified between Wednesday, January 31, and Thursday, February 1, during the trial of Dominic Ongwen, a former LRA commander. Witness P-410 said he was abducted when he was 14 years old and spent his time with … Continue Reading

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Witness Testifies About LRA Commander Repeatedly Raping and Beating Her

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) she was repeatedly subjected to sexual violence by a commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army to whom she had been given as “wife.”

Witness P-374 told the court on Tuesday she was abducted by members of the LRA’s Sinia brigade, and she was given to a commander in that brigade. At the time she of her abduction, the witness said that she was in Primary Six, or the sixth year of primary school.

The witness testified in the trial of Dominic Ongwen, who has been charged with crimes he is alleged to have committed while a commander in Sinia brigade between July 2002 and December 2005. He is facing eight counts of war crimes … Continue Reading

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Witness Testifies About the Difficulty of Returning Home After Being an LRA “Wife”

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) she was in the household of Dominic Ongwen for eight months before she was later on given as a “wife” to another commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Witness P-366 told the court on Wednesday the LRA abducted her twice in 2000, and she described to the court some of her experiences in the LRA after her second abduction. Charles Taku, one of Ongwen’s lawyers, challenged her account about being in Ongwen’s household.

Ongwen, a former LRA commander, has been charged with eight counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in indirectly committing sexual and gender-based crimes such as forced marriage, sexual slavery, and enslavement. He is alleged … Continue Reading

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Defense Lawyer Asks Witness Whether He is Confused About Ongwen Abducting Him

A defense lawyer questioned Witness P-200 on whether he was confused over who it was in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) who abducted him and whether he also mixed up which LRA group he served in.

Abigail Bridgman, one of Dominic Ongwen’s lawyers, told the witness on Tuesday that Ongwen was not in the area he was taken from when the abduction occurred. Witness P-200 insisted Ongwen is the one who abducted him, and Ongwen was his commander while in the LRA.

Ongwen is on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC). He has been charged with 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity that he is alleged to have committed in northern Uganda between July 2002 and December 2005. … Continue Reading

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Witness Tells Court He Twice Survived Being Nearly Killed While in the LRA

A witness broke down and cried loudly as he began narrating to the International Criminal Court (ICC) how the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) abducted him about 14 years ago when he and his family fled their home after neighbors warned them the rebel group was in the vicinity.

Witness P-200 broke down about half an hour into his testimony on Monday. Presiding Judge Bertram Schmitt ordered a short break in proceedings to allow the witness to recover and an assessment to be made on whether he could continue his testimony. Witness P-200 resumed his testimony after about 15 minutes. Monday’s hearing was also shortened to give the witness longer breaks between his testimony.

He is testifying in the ICC trial of Dominic … Continue Reading

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Former LRA Officer Insists Ongwen Participated in Lukodi Attack

A former long-serving member of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insisted Dominic Ongwen participated in attacking the Lukodi camp for internally displaced people (IDP) 13 years ago.

Thomas Obhof, one of Ongwen’s lawyers, suggested on Friday that Ongwen was not at Lukodi when the attack happened in May 2004. Witness P-145 told the International Criminal Court (ICC) he was. The witness also told the court Ongwen addressed LRA fighters before they went to attack Lukodi.

Ongwen, a former LRA commander, is on trial at the ICC and has been charged with 13 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the attack on Lukodi. He has also been charged for his alleged role in attacks on three … Continue Reading

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A Former LRA Officer Disputes the LRA’s Goal was to Overthrow the Ugandan Government

A former long-serving member of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that after he escaped the group he concluded the LRA’s goal was not to overthrow the Ugandan government. He said he also appealed on FM radio to LRA members to leave the group.

Witness P-145 told the court on Wednesday about collecting and carrying away food looted during an LRA attack on the Lukodi camp for internally displaced people (IDP). He said he did not participate in the attack nor did he witness what happened during the attack.

Dominic Ongwen, a former LRA commander who is on trial at the ICC, has been charged with 13 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his … Continue Reading

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Defense Lawyer Casts Doubt on Whether Witness Knew Ongwen

On Tuesday, a lawyer defending Dominic Ongwen at the International Criminal Court (ICC) cast doubt on whether a former fighter with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) saw or knew Ongwen, as the former fighter had testified a day earlier.

Thomas Obhof also cast doubt on what Witness P-250 knew about the LRA brigade he had testified he belonged to while he was with the rebel group. Witness P-250 insisted that he knew Ongwen, but he conceded there were details about the brigade he belonged to that he did not know.

Ongwen is on trial facing 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He has been charged with attacking camps for internally displaced people (IDP), committing sex crimes, and conscripting child … Continue Reading

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