Dominic Ongwen is a former child soldier with the Lord Resistance Army. At the age of 10, that’s right 10,he did some unspeakable things to others. He was forced to do some things none of could never imagine.
He is now 35 and he is going to stand trial for these past war crimes in Hague.
You can read this story here. I’m going to give you a section to think about, but as always, I hope you read the article.
It was this favored status, and the widely circulated legend of his notorious rise, that earned Dominic Ongwen an indictment in 2005 by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The court had been created to prosecute those who abducted children as fighters, but only a handful of top commanders besides Kony himself were indicted. Ongwen was the only one on that shortlist who’d been a child soldier himself.
Many people in Northern Uganda, where Ongwen is from, criticized the indictment, pointing out that as a boy he had little choice but to adhere to LRA doctrine. “He had to either follow those rules and survive, or frankly, die,” explains Cakaj. “So to a certain extent we are holding him responsible for being alive. Particularly if you understand the story of people who are not here anymore because they either refused or were unable to perform the same way that Ongwen did.”
But the details of Ongwen’s behavior are terrifying. Titus Obali, who reportedly spent just under a year in Ongwen’s captivity before escaping, told the humanitarian news site IRIN that “Ongwen and his boys used killing, beating, maiming and raping as a weapon. … He forced many children to kill people.”
I’m going to make this simple. Do you think this former child soldiers, or any other for that matter, stand trial for past war crimes?