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Rebels Want Reward For Capturing LRA’s Ongwen

LRA Former Commander Dominic Ongwen

A rebel Group in the Central African Republic which claims a big role in the capture of Lord’s Resistance Army Commander Dominic Ongwen are now demanding to be rewarded.

Seleka rebels in CAR say they should be paid as promised by the Government of the United States for helping in the capture of Ongwen

The US had offered up to $5m [about Sh 14 billion] as a reward for information leading to his arrest, transfer or conviction.

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A Seleka commander told international media that Commander Ongwen was captured after a 25-minute battle,  after which they informed US forces in the area.

US however holds that Mr Ongwen had defected, before being handed over to their forces

Mounir Ahamat, Seleka’s second-in-command in the region of Sam-Ouandja in north-western CAR, told the BBC that a US army helicopter had gone to collect Mr Ongwen after the battle.

He said that, apart from the reward money, Seleka was disappointed that the US had not publicly recognized their role in the arrest of Mr Ongwen.

He said that they had reinforced their fighters on the ground in order to find him.

“If they don’t give us that money, they could at least say it’s thanks to us they were able to get this lieutenant colonel. Not only they did not give us the money, but they didn’t recognize what we have done in the field,” he said.

“I am really upset by it.”

Explaining the circumstances of the capture, he said that as the US helicopter approached, the LRA commander had asked if it was Ugandan because “they would kill him”.

Despite numerous calls to have the commander handed to the International Criminal Court [ICC] for trial, Kampala still insists that Mr Ongwen faces justice at home.

Yesterday The Human Rights Watch in a statement called for Ongwen to be taken to the Hague tribunal saying justice should take its course how much delay since the arrest warrant was issued 10 years ago.

“The U.S., Uganda, and the CAR should ensure the prompt transfer of a rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander to the International Criminal Court (ICC),” part of the statement released by Human Rights Watch and seen by this website reads in part.

In 2005, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Dominic Ongwen and four other senior commanders of LRA including founder Joseph Kony for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

 

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