ICC brings 60 new charges against LRA Kony's deputy

24th September 2015, Comments 0 comments

The International Criminal Court unveiled Thursday at least 60 new war crimes charges against the deputy leader of Uganda's brutal Lord's Resistance Army, including using child soldiers and keeping sex slaves.

"The prosecution gave formal notice that it intends to expand the scope of the charges against Dominic Ongwen," the Hague-based court said, adding it planned to file the additional charges on December 21.

Ongwen is the first leader of the brutal Ugandan rebel army -- led by the fugitive Joseph Kony -- to appear before the ICC, which was set up to try the world's worst crimes.

The new charges all relate to attacks carried out on camps housing people who had been forced to flee their homes in the bloody Ugandan rebellion that started in 1987.

More than 100 people -- many of them babies and children -- died in the attacks on four camps between October 2003 and June 2004.

In one of the attacks at Lukodi camp in northern Uganda "many civilians including children were burnt alive in huts that LRA fighters set on fire," prosecutors said in court papers detailing the new charges.

Many "victims also had no choice but to submit to rape, enslavement and sexual slavery," the prosecution said.

Know as the "White Ant", Ongwen was one of the most senior commanders of the LRA, which is accused of killing more than 100,000 people and abducting 60,000 children.

He has been wanted for war crimes for almost a decade by the ICC.

He surrendered to US special forces in the Central African Republic in January, after Washington placed a $5-million (4.4-million euro) bounty on his head.

US troops have also been leading a campaign to try to flush Kony out of the jungles and bring him to justice.

© 2015 AFP

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