The United States based Non-governmental organization, troche http://dancehallarena.com/wp-includes/class-wp-network-query.php Invisible Children Inc. and its coordinating organization in Africa, the Africa Non-Profit Chore (ANCHOR), have welcomed news of surrender Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) second in command ‘Maj. Gen’ Dominic Ongwen, saying it reaffirms a declining capacity for destruction by the brutal group.
In a statement released on Wednesday, a day after Ongwen`s surrender to the Us military forces in Obo, Central African Republic, Invisible Children and ANCHOR that have been advocating for the return of LRA combatants said the development to them is a celebration of the year since the elusive and ICC wanted LRA boss Joseph Kony is now almost remaining alone.
“For someone who was himself a victim of LRA abduction, having been conscripted into the rebellion at a tender age of ten years, Dominic’s surrender or capture, means the LRA’s capacity for mass atrocities continues to be eroded and multitudes are feeling safer and able to start meaningful recovery from a nearly three-decade long plight and plunder,” said Patrick Munduga, the Regional Head of Office for the Africa Non-Profit Chore (ANCHOR) in Kampala.
“With now four out of five top commanders removed from the LRA area of operation, this news is a celebration of years of our collective work with several advocacy, security, and peace-building partners in the region both local and international,” he added.
A statement issued by Invisible Children Inc. also welcomes Ongwen’s release or surrender.
“If confirmed, Ongwen’s surrender or capture would mean a significant and historic blow to Joseph Kony’s forces. It would also mean that, in the last three years alone, four of the top five LRA commanders would have been removed from the battlefield, leaving only Kony as the final ICC-indicted LRA leader left to be captured,” reads the statement.
Ongwen was on Wednesday handed over to Ugandan forces in CAR.
Officials said they would soon determine whether he is entitled to amnesty or would face war crimes charges at special courts in Kampala.
In a media advisory released on Wednesday, the Human Rights Watch congratulated the apprehension of Ongwen, saying it is a “major opportunity” for justice to those who suffered for over 20 years at the hands of the brutal LRA.
“The apprehension of the LRA Commander Dominic Ongwen would be a major opportunity to advance justice for the LRA’s long record of atrocities,” said Ida Sawyer, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.
“For 10 years Ongwen has been a fugitive, sought on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the ICC.”
The same statement also asked the US military to immediately surrender Dominic Ongwen who is wanted on the charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, to the International Criminal Court.
“He should be promptly surrendered to face justice.”
Dominic Ongwen, his boss Joseph Kony and three others are wanted by ICC to answer to charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes, murder, enslavement, cruel treatment of civilians, and intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population.
For years, Ongwen and his fellow combatants within the LRA have been the targets of ‘Come Home’ defection messages by civil society organizations, in an effort to help dismantle the LRA from within by encouraging peaceful defections inside its ranks.
“His capture or surrender gives us more resolve to intensify our defection programs to see more LRA fighters peacefully and safely leave the battlefield,” said ANCHOR’s Patrick Munduga in Kampala this morning.
The Invisible Children that also developed the LRA Crisis Tracker, a geospatial database and reporting system run by Invisible Children and the resolve that tracks and reports on trends and patterns in the LRA conflict including attacks, killings, abductions and defections released the profile of Ongwen.
According to a profile of Dominic Ongwen on the LRA Crisis Tracker Initiative, the story of Dominic Ongwen epitomizes that of many people who have paid a heavy price because of the LRA atrocities- either as victims of abductions, displacement and death. It is a story of a child, like many in the LRA, forcefully abducted, forced to grow up in the image of his oppressors and is turned into an oppressor himself.
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