U.S. Hands Over Top LRA Commander to Uganda Army
The UPDF has said it has positively identified the man who surrendered to Seleka rebels as Maj Gen Dominic Ongwen, one of the notorious commanders of the LRA.
Major Gen Dominic Ongwen was operating in the CAR.
Gen Ongwen, who had been in the hands of the US Special Forces since Tuesday has been handed over to UPDF troops in Central African Republic (CAR).
“He [Gen Ongwen] is with us now and consultations between the government of Uganda, the African Union, United Nations and the International Criminal Court are ongoing for the way forward on his future,” Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, the UPDF spokesperson said yesterday. “His surrender puts the LRA in the most vulnerable position,” he added.
Gen Ongwen, is one of the five LRA commanders, who were in 2005 indicted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity. In the same year, the American government put a $5m (about Shs13 billion) bounty on his head for anyone who may have information leading to his arrest or transfer or conviction.
Ethnic cleansing in Central African Republic, no genocide: U.N. inquiry
Christian militia in Central African Republic have carried out ethnic cleansing of the Muslim population during the country’s ongoing civil war, but there is no proof there was genocidal intent, a United Nations commission of inquiry has determined.
The final report of the inquiry, which was submitted to the U.N. Security Council on Dec. 19, said up to 6,000 people had been killed though it “considers that such estimates fail to capture the full magnitude of the killings that occurred.”
The mostly Christian or animist “anti-balaka” militia took up arms in 2013 in response to months of looting and killing by mostly Muslim Seleka rebels who had toppled President Francois Bozize and seized power in March the same year.
The U.N. Security Council established the commission of inquiry in December 2013.
“Thousands of people died as a result of the conflict. Human rights violations and abuses were committed by all parties. The Seleka coalition and the anti-balaka are also responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the inquiry said.
“Although the commission cannot conclude that there was genocide, ethnic cleansing of the Muslim population by the anti-balaka constitutes a crime against humanity,” it found.
Child soldiers in Central African Republic more than doubled, says charity
Up to 10,000 boys and girls are now fighting in sectarian conflict, according to Save the Children.
The number of child soldiers in the Central African Republic (CAR) has more than doubled – and possibly quadrupled – since sectarian conflict erupted last year, putting them at risk of long-term psychological damage, Save the Children warns.
An estimated 6,000 to 10,000 boys and girls are currently members of armed groups, compared with around 2,500 at the beginning of the crisis, according to the charity.
The CAR was plunged into violence when northern, mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized control of the capital in March 2013, prompting a backlash by the largely Christian ‘anti-balaka’ militia. Thousands of people have since been killed or displaced by a never ending cycle of revenge attacks.
A report by Save the Children published on Thursday warns that children as young as eight continue to be recruited by both sides. Some are forcibly conscripted while others are motivated to join out of poverty and a desire to avenge the deaths of loved ones.