UN boss welcomes conviction of Ugandan rebel commander by International Criminal Court

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Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday welcomed the conviction of a Ugandan rebel commander by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

The secretary-general took note of the judgment issued on Thursday by the ICC against Ongwen, a commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Ongwen was found guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including sexual and gender-based crimes, which took place in northern Uganda between July 2002 and December 2005, said Stephane Dujarric, Guterres’ spokesman, in a statement.

The judgment is a significant milestone in accountability and a step forward in efforts to bring justice to the victims of LRA crimes, and reaffirms that impunity will not be tolerated, said the statement.

The judgment also marks the first time that the crime of forced marriage has been considered by the ICC and highlights the critical need to eradicate sexual and gender-based violence, it added.

The secretary-general’s thoughts are with the victims of crimes against humanity and war crimes for which Ongwen has been found guilty, said the statement.

Ongwen was arrested in the Central African Republic in January 2015 and transferred to the ICC’s custody later that month, almost 10 years after the issuance of an arrest warrant against him by the ICC.

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