Acholi leaders ask why Ongwen’s ICC trial is “unending”

Dominic Ongwen has been convicted by the ICC on Thursday. File photo.

By Komakech Jimmy

Stakeholders in Gulu district have expressed fears on the lengthy proceedings of former LRA commander, Dominic Ogwen who is facing dozens of criminal charges at the Hague based court, the ICC.

The trial commenced on 6 December 2016 and proceeding up to date.

During an informative meeting with stakeholders organized by ICC Outreach department in Gulu town, concerns arose.

Sheik Musa Kelil who is the vice chairperson, Acholi Religious Leaders and Peace Initiatives [ARLPI] said the Court is taking long to pass judgment on Ogwen.

Kelil claims this might lead to manipulation of the exact truths on the ground.

Alex Okoya, the media partner ICC -Outreach said the public is having a lot of expectations on the trial and there is need to harmonize these expectations in a way that is more realistic, and the idea be presented to Danish Embassy who is in support of the trial.

Rosalba Ojara, from Ker Kal Kwaro Acholi said Ogwen committed all the crimes charged against him under the orders of LRA leader Joseph Kony, adding “he should be released”.

Jimmy Otim, the program field officer with the ICC, however, said Dominic Ogwens trial is far much different from any trial ever presented before the ICC and it has been the fastest compared to any, citing that of Sierra Leone.

“It is important for court to follow due process,” he added.

On 26, January 2016, Ogwen appeared before the ICC for a pre-trial hearing.

On 23, March 2016, the ICC confirmed the 70 charges brought against Dominic Ogwen and committed him for trial on war crimes and crimes against humanity in camps of Abok, Lukodi, Odek and Pajule, all in northern Uganda.

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