LRA commander Dominic Ongwen pleads not guilty to war crimes at the ICC

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Former Lords Resistance Army (LRA) commander Dominic Ongwen has pleaded not guilty to charges laid against him at the International Criminal Court (ICC), telling the judges that he too was a victim.

The former child soldier said that the LRA was responsible for atrocities in Uganda, and that he also suffered from those atrocities.

Ongwen, now in his early 40s, was a boy when he was abducted by the notoriously ruthless rebel cult.

He faces 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Uganda.

Mr Ongwen is accused of leading attacks on four camps for internally displaced people in northern Uganda, murdering and torturing civilians, and forcing women into marriage and children to take part in the fighting.

Ongwen however argues that the charges should be brought against LRA leader Joseph Kony, not him.

“It is the LRA who abducted people in northern Uganda, killed people in northern Uganda and committed atrocities in northern Uganda. I’m one of the people against whom the LRA committed atrocities. It is not me who is the LRA,” he said.

During his time with the rebel group, Ongwen rose to become a top commander.

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