M7 Had No Authority To Pardon Ongwen – State House

State House has dismissed media reports that President Yoweri Museveni was planning to pardon former LRA Commander Dominic Ongwen.

Ongwen, who was captured Wednesday last week in Central African Republic, was quoted by press as stating that “Even President [Museveni has agreed to forgive me since I surrendered myself.”

President Museveni’s Press Secretary Linda Nabusayi however, dismissed the reports, clarifying that Ongwen was not qualified for the presidential prerogative.

“The Amnesty is provided to rebels who abandon or renounce involvement, in war against the state or constitution,” said Nabusayi in a statement.

“But Dominic was not fighting government and his victims were not victims of war caught in the crossfire. His victims and those of LRA commanders were innocent men, women and children ripped from their homes, schools communities, killed maimed and used as sex slaves, in Uganda, DRC and South Sudan.”

The illumination comes moments after the national army confirmed that Ongwen would be arraigned before the International Criminal Court which has been pursuing him for a decade.

Army spokesperson Col Paddy Ankunda revealed Tuesday afternoon that a decision had been taken to have Ongwen taken to the ICC by the CAR government, to answer to his charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Mrs Wamboka noted that President Museveni had never claimed powers to pardon terrorists who have abused the sanctity of human life.

She noted, “The Amnesty Law doesn’t cover rebels who are involved in crimes against humanity, or war crimes and doesn’t apply to LRA leader Joseph Kony and his commanders,” she added.

The media reports had already sparked outrage among  some Ugandans, who hold that Ongwen and other LRA leaders deserved to be punished for their crimes.

Democratic Party President Norbert Mao warned earlier today that the way Ogwen would be handled was a major determinant to whether other LRA rebels accept to surrender and adhere to the ‘Come back Home’ campaign or not.


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