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Ugandan rebel commander found guilty of war crimes, cri...

Newsdeck

Newsdeck

Ugandan rebel commander found guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity

epa08891327 (18/39) An aerial photo taken with a drone shows the trade hub of Mambasa, in the Ituri Rainforest, an area of vast natural biodiversity and resources, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 19 October 2020. Mambasa lies on the road leading out from the rainforest towards Uganda, so it is a major way station for illegal animal trafficking, unregulated deforestation, and mining sites. A distinct risk for zoonotic spillover of viruses exists in a setting with exceptional governance challenges. Because economic forces and local governments are incentivized to collaborate, these factors have enabled a precarious situation where conservation is a losing battle and Congo's biodiversity posits a distinct likelihood for a new virus to jump from an animal to a human population. (Photo: EPA-EFE/Hugh Kinsella Cunningham ATTENTION EDITORS / MANDATORY CREDIT : This story was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center)
By Reuters
04 Feb 2021 1

THE HAGUE, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Ugandan former rebel commander Dominic Ongwen was convicted on Thursday of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, sexual enslavement, abducting children, torture and pillaging.

Judges at the International Criminal Court said Ongwen, who himself was taken by the Lord’s Resistance Army as a young boy, had acted out of free will in committing the crimes between 2002 and 2005.

“There exists no ground excluding Dominic Ongwen’s criminal responsibility. His guilt has been established beyond any reasonable doubt,” Presiding Judge Bertram Schmitt said.

In a legal first, Ongwen was also convicted for the crime of forced pregnancy. (Reporting by Anthony Deutsch and Bart Meijer; Writing by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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