Statement: 4 February 2021 |

Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, following the conviction of Mr Dominic Ongwen: “Today was an important milestone in the journey to bring justice to the people of Uganda.”


Earlier today, the Judges of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "the Court") found Dominic Ongwen guilty beyond reasonable doubt of an overwhelming majority of the charges brought by the Prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the time he was a senior leader of the so-called Lord's Resistance Army (''LRA'') in Uganda.

The trial aims to establish the truth through the trier of fact. This is equally important for the memory of those who perished from the horrors they endured as much as for those who survived them.

Today, the truth was established through this important judgment and justice was served. Through the Court's crucial work, today, an important message was sent globally that perpetrators of atrocities must be and will be held accountable.

As this case has clearly demonstrated, the brutal and terrifying campaigns of attacks on the civilian population, sexual slavery, forced marriage and forced pregnancy, murder, mutilation, torture, pillaging, abduction and other atrocities by the LRA with Mr Ongwen as one of its senior leaders, had horrific consequences for the civilian population in Uganda, including for women and children.

Today, my first thoughts are with the victims of the heinous crimes we witnessed in this case. The harrowing accounts of the victims were finally recognised through this verdict. I want to seize this important moment to express my solidarity with the victims and affected communities of Ongwen's crimes in Uganda, and profound gratitude to the victims and the 116 witnesses who collaborated with my Office in this case. I am grateful for their resilience, courage and commitment to the cause of justice. They are most deserving of our praise and admiration.

Today's guilty verdict of more than 60 counts included important convictions on the basis of sexual and gender-based crimes and crimes against children, including for the first time, the crime of forced marriage and forced pregnancy. This is yet another concrete expression of my Office's declared policy in action to address these serious underreported crimes.

Let me add here that Dominic Ongwen was, at one time, himself a victim of the LRA, abducted as a child and forced to become a child soldier. In time, however, he grew into one of the most senior military leaders, fervently committed to the LRA cause with infamous brutality. As an adult, he was personally responsible for encouraging and committing against others the very crimes that he himself suffered as a child. As proven at trial, he was also a direct perpetrator of terrible sexual violence, including against young girls, some of whom were forcibly "married" to him. We charged him for the horrible crimes he committed as an adult and today he was convicted for those crimes.

His trial is now over, but it is not the end of the judicial process. Mr Ongwen continues to benefit from all his due process rights. Both the Prosecution and the Defence have the option to appeal the verdict following a thorough review. There will be hearings on sentencing, which can also be subject to appeal, after which there will be hearings on reparations for the victims.

But let there be no mistake. Today was an important milestone in the journey to bring justice to the people of Uganda.

As a prosecuting office, we have worked tirelessly throughout the proceedings with an unyielding commitment to our mandate, and on the strength of the evidence we have scrupulously collected, to bring a measure of justice to the victims of Ongwen's crimes. Today is their day.

I am grateful to all who made today's outcome possible and proud of the role and contribution of my team at the Office.

It is my sincere hope that this trial and verdict will strengthen the collective resolve of the international community to end impunity for atrocity crimes, including for sexual and gender-based crimes and crimes against and affecting children; crimes so prevalent in conflicts around the globe. There must be accountability for the perpetrators.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. Since 2003, the Office has been conducting investigations in multiple situations within the ICC's jurisdiction, namely in Uganda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic (two distinct situations); Kenya; Libya; Côte d'Ivoire; Mali; Georgia, Burundi Bangladesh/Myanmar and Afghanistan (subject to a pending article 18 deferral request). The Office is also currently conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Bolivia; Colombia; Guinea; the Philippines; and Venezuela (I and II) and has completed three other preliminary examinations concerning the situations in Palestine (pending a jurisdictional ruling) as well as Nigeria and Ukraine (pending requests for authorisation to proceed to investigation).

Nakanen, Lungol Kop me Kot me Wilobo pi Bal Maraco ("ICC" onyo "Kot") ongolo kop ni, labongo akalakala, Dominic Ongwen obedo won bal i pol pa adot ma Lukel adot gukello ikom bal maraco ikare me mony ki bal maraco ikom dano ikare ma en onongo obedo ngat acel ikin lutella ma rwom gi lamal i dul pa adwii ma kilwongo ni Lord's Resistance Army ("LRA") i Uganda.

Dwan (MPEG-3) me kwanyo wek igwok

Pyem lok ikare me pido ni obedo kare me keto lok kamaleng wek kimok ngec ikom gin ma ada otime. Man pire tek me poo pi jo ma gurwenyo kwoo gi i tim aranyi ma gubedo iye ento bene pi jo ma gubwot too ki iye.

Tin, i ngolo kop man ma pire tek ni, kimoko lok ma obedo ada dok kiweko lok otum ma opore i ter cik.  Malube ki tic pa Kot ma pire tek, tin, kicwalo lok ma pire tek i wilobo weng ni wegi tim aranyi omyero kitii ikom gin dok ni kibitiyo ikom gin.

Kit ma lok man dong oweko nen kamaleng, tic maraco me monyo reya, gero dano opii-opii, diyo dano me nyome, ki me yac tektek, nek, ngolo dano, lanyo dano, yak, mak ki tim aranyi mukene pa LRA ma ladit Ongwen obedo ngat acel ikin lutela mony gi ma rwom gi lamal, adwogi gi obedo maraco tutwal ikom reya me Uganda, ma ikine obedo mon ki litino.

Tin, tam na ma okwongo, obedo pi jo ma kitimo bal maggi maraco ma waneno i lok man ni ikom gin. Kit ma kingolo kop i lok man, olo dong omoko ada pa lok pa jo ma kitimo bal ikom gin ni jami maggi gubedo lik tutwal. Amito akwany kare man ma pire tek ni me nyuto ni acung karacel ki jo ma kitimo bal ikom gi, lwak ma bal ma Ongwen otimo olanyo gin i Uganda, ki acwal pwoc mapol bot dano ma kitimo bal ikom gin, ki lucaden 116 ma gutiyo karacel ki Opici na i lok man. Gupore tutwal me jolo bor ki neno ki bunyo yom cwiny ki botwa.

Ikin adot makato 60 ma tin kingolo kop ma moko won bal ne, obedo iye lok ma pir gi tego pien gukwako bal maraco me gero dano, ki bal ma kilanyo dano ma lube ka lacoo onyo dako, ki bal maraco ikom litino, ma ikine obedo, pi tyen ma okwongo, bal maraco me nyomo dano tektek, ki me weko guyac tektek. Man obedo lok acel mukene ma nyuto kamaleng cikke pa Opici na me tic ikom kit bal maggi maraco ma pe kiwinyo lok ikom gin tutwal.

Wek atit amed kany ni Dominic Ongwen bene, ikare ma okato, en obedo bene dano ma LRA otimo bal ikome, kimake ma en pwod latin ka kidiye me doko lamomy ma latin. Lacen, en odongo odoko ngat acel ikin lutella mony ma rwom gi lamal, ma ojalle i tic pi mitti pa LRA ma en tim gero ki aranyi ne oywek. Macalo dano ma otegi, en kikome otimo ki bene odiyo cwiny jo mukene me timo bal ikom litino mukene kit ma en bene yang kitimo ikome ma en pwod latin. Kit ma kinyuto ikare me pido, en kikome bene otimo bal ki gero ikom dano, ma ikine obedo litino anyira ma mogo kidiyo "gunyome" kwede. Wakello adot ikome pi bal maraco ma en otimo ma en dong otegi, ci tin kingollo kop ni en aye won bal maggi.

Pido ikome dong otum, ento tic i ter cik ikom lok ne pwod pe otum. Ogwen obimede anyim ki tic ki twero weng ma en tye kwede ite cik. Lukel adot ki Lupyem adot gin weng gitwero koko apil ka dong gungiyo matut kop ma kingolo. Kibigure kawinyo lok ikom ngo ma obitime macalo adwogi me ngolo kop ma otime ni, ma man bene kiromo koko apil iye. Lacen inge man, kibigure kawinyo lok ikom cul pi jo ma kitimo bal ikom gin.

Kadi ni ngo, pe kiket marac. Tin obedo nino ma wakato bor piny ma pire tek i yo me kello tic ma opore ite cik pi jo ma i kumalo me Uganda.

Macalo dul ma kello adot ikom jo ma gutimo bal maraco, watiyo matek ki kero wa weng ikare weng me lok man kit ma mitte i ter twero me ticwa, ci pi beco pa lanyut ma waguro ki diro matut, oweko olo okello adwogi ma opore, i ter cik, bot jo ma gubedo i alany malube ki bal pa Ongwen i Uganda. Tin obedo nino ma meggi.

Abedo ki pwoc bot dano weng ma gukonyo kello adwogi ma tin dok atye ki awaka madit pi kwayi tic ki jami mapatpat ma dul na ma i Opici gutimo.

Ageno ni pido man ki kop ma kingolo ikome bikonyo moko mitti pa wilobo ma gugure me giko tim aranyi maraco labongo adwogi pwod mo, bal maraco ma ikine obedo bal me gero ki bal ma kilanyo dano ma lube ka lacoo onyo dako, bal ikom litino ki ma lanyo litino dok bene tye oket kaweng i wilobo. Pwod adwogi pa bal maggi omyero obed tye ikom lutim bal maggi. 

Opici pa Procekuta me ICC tiyo kene labongo jenge kamo onyo neno lok macwako lakucel keken i tic ne me ngiyo lok wiye wiye i acaki ne, kwedo ki kello adot ma dok ikom bal maraco me nek lumuku, bal maraco ikom dano, bal maraco ikare me mony ki bal me monyo lobo mukene. Nicake i mwaka 2003, Opici man dong obedo kakwedo ter bal mapatpat ma gitye i twero tic me ICC, maggi gin Uganda; Democratic Republic Congo; Darfur; Sudan; Central African Republic (lok aryo mapatpat); Kenya; Libya; Côte d'Ivoire; Mali; Georgia, Burundi, Bangladesh/Myanmar ki Afghanistan (jenge ikom adwogi kwac ni kigal tic i ter dul cik 18). Opici man bene tye kangiyo lok wiye wiye i acaki ne i lok ma dok ikom Bolivia; Colombia; Guinea; Philippines; ki Venezuela (I ki II) ki dong otyeko ngiyo lok wiye wiye adek i acaki ne me lok ma dok ikom Palestine (kuro twero ki bot lungol kop), Nigeria, ki Ukraine (kuro twero me mede anyim).

Lamii ngec man: Opici pa Procekuta

Lok pa Procekuta me Kot me Wilobo pi Bal Maraco, ICC, Fatou Bensouda, malubo ngolo kop i wii Dominic Ongwen ikom lok me Uganda
Source: Office of the Prosecutor | Contact: [email protected]