The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda has urged members States to renew and refocus efforts to secure the arrest of Joseph Kony, the notorious leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA and all other ICC fugitives.
Bensouda says the victims of crimes perpetuated by the rebel group in Uganda and neighboring countries have waited far too long and deserve to see justice done.
Her call comes just a day after Dominic Ongwen; a high ranking commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was transferred to the custody of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Arrested in the Central African Republic (CAR) earlier this month, Ongwen, a feared commander of the LRA was taken into custody at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on arrival last evening.
His trial will be the first time that a member of the rebel group has faced international justice.
“Dominic Ongwen’s transfer brings us one step closer to ending the LRA’s reign of terror in the African Great Lakes region.
For more than a quarter of a century, the LRA under Joseph Kony and his high command, that includes Ongwen, have terrorized the people of Northern Uganda and neighboring countries,” Bensouda said in a statement.
Bensouda adds that her investigation has already pointed to Dominic Ongwen as one of those who bear the greatest responsibility for crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC.
“His transfer to the Court’s custody sends a firm and unequivocal message that no matter how long it will take, the Office of the Prosecutor will not stop until the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community are prosecuted and face justice for their heinous crimes,” the statement added.
Bensouda also commends the persistent efforts of the Government of Uganda, the Government of the Central African Republic, the Uganda People’s Defence Force, and the African Union Regional Task Force who pursued the LRA leading to Ongwen’s surrender.