U.S., Uganda, Told to Take Ongwen to ICC

President Uhuru Kenyatta has flagged off the first batch of 170 Kenyan health volunteers to help contain the deadly Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia, viagra Chimp Corps report.

Volunteer medics, store including nurses, treat doctors and laboratory technicians, trained on detecting and management of the disease, form part of the African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA).

Speaking at State House Nairobi, the President said Kenya is committed to Africa’s resolve to provide solutions to the continent’s challenges.

He has fulfilled its pledge of USD 1,000,000 (sh.90 million) financial support to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea to fight Ebola.

He added that the country will fulfill its commitment to contribute 319 health workers to join the Ebola response in West Africa as pledged during the 10th Ordinary meeting of the East African Community Sectoral Council of Ministers in October last year.

“The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa last year presented a profound global crisis. It seriously challenged the affected nations and regions, our continent’s and the global community’s capacities and approaches to humanitarian emergencies,” the President said.

He said the country has a proud and exemplary name in peacekeeping, diplomacy and voluntary international service in times of crisis.

President Kenyatta thanked the medical volunteers for the bravery, resolve and nobility of spirit to be front-line staff in tackling the Ebola virus from the source.


“This is a time of great pride for all Kenyans, for you and for me.  I stand before courageous and selfless volunteers who have taken a bold stand to bring the spirit of African solidarity into life and action,” he said.

Adding,” You join a roll of distinguished Kenyans who have served their African kin selflessly under daunting circumstances”.

The President said the volunteers are the demonstration of the potential Africa holds to overcome its challenges and boldly enter a brave new world of progress, peace and happiness.

“The greatest resource we discovered as a continent is confidence: the confidence in our own ideas, solutions and capacities, President Kenyatta said.

He said it is humbling and inspiring to know that the country boasts of innumerable committed, “compassionate and courageous professionals whose love and empathy literally knows no boundarie”s.

He told the medics; “You are the demonstration of the potential Africa holds to overcome its challenges and boldly enter a brave new world of progress, peace and happiness”.

Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission Erastus Mwencha and Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia signed a memorandum of understanding covering the airlifting, insurance cover and other welfare issues affecting the volunteers.

The health workers will be airlifted to West Africa later today by Chartered Kenya Airways planes. The President urged the Airline’s management to consider resuming flights to West African destination suspended following the outbreak.

Mr Mwencha commended the President and his government for “always standing tall” in solidarity on finding solutions to matters affecting the continent.

Others who spoke were included Mr Macharia and Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed.
The Human Rights Division of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Friday issued a report saying there are reasonable grounds to believe that at least 353 civilians were murdered and another 250 wounded in attacks in the capitals of Unity state and Jonglei state between 15 April and 17 April last year.

The body said having collected and analyzed physical evidence and interviewed 142 sources, salve the report has found that the attacks in the towns of Bentiu and Bor involved the deliberate targeting of victims on the basis of their ethnicity, this nationality or perceived support for one of the parties to the conflict, a press statement from the Mission said.

“In both Bentiu and Bor, attacks took place against protected objects – a hospital, a mosque, and a United Nations base – which may amount to war crimes,” said the report.

“Although the conflict has been marked throughout by gross abuses and violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law, these two events seemed to represent the nadir of the conflict.”

The worst attack in Bentiu, the capital of oil richest Unity State took place after opposition forces retook control of the town from Government troops.

The report says that at least 287 civilians – mainly Sudanese traders and their families who were targeted on the basis of their Darfuri origins – were killed at a mosque before a further 19 civilians were killed at the Bentiu Civil Hospital.

Two days later, an UNMISS civilian protection site outside the Jonglei state capital of Bor was attacked by a mob of armed men demanding the expulsion of all youths of Nuer ethnicity.

After forcibly entering the protection site, the mob went on a rampage of killing, looting and abductions of internally displaced persons (IDPs), killing at least 47 people whose names appear in report.

“UNMISS strongly condemns the continued killing and displacement of civilians on the basis of their ethnic identity nearly nine months after the events of April 2014,” said Ellen Margrethe Løj, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for South Sudan.

“This risks an even greater polarization of the country along ethnic lines with potentially serious repercussions for the state of human rights and the prospects for reconciliation.”

Nearly nine months after the attacks took place, no perpetrator has been held accountable by either the Government of the Republic of South Sudan or the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army In Opposition and the report says that few accountability measures have been taken in response to the incidents.

The Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights referred to the UNMISS report during a briefing in Geneva today, adding his voice to those concerned by the response to the attacks.

“Accountability is a big issue. There has been no accountability for the mass atrocities, human rights violations and abuses that have caused the death of tens of thousands of people in South Sudan,” said Robert Colville.

“Nearly nine months after the attacks in Bentiu and Bor took place, no perpetrator has been held accountable by either the Government of South Sudan or the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army In Opposition for the two large-scale killings described in the report.”
The United States, online Uganda, viagra buy and Central African republic have been asked to immediately transfer the second in command of the brutal Lord`s Resistance Army, ‘Mag. Gen.’ Dominic Ongwen to the International Criminal Court.

The appeal was made on Friday by the international humanitarian body, Human Rights Watch 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.

On January 6, 2015, US military advisers working with the African Union (AU) Regional Task Force in the Central African Republic took Ongwen into custody when he surrendered in Obo. The AU task force consists nearly entirely of Ugandan military personnel.

The US, Ugandan, and Central African authorities are negotiating Ongwen’s future, media reports say.

Human Rights Watch in the same statement said Ongwen should have immediate access to a lawyer and the ability to communicate in a language he understands.

“With Ongwen in custody, the door is open for victims of LRA crimes to see some long-awaited justice,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “He should promptly be transferred to the ICC, which has a warrant for his arrest.”

Ongwen, originally from Gulu, northern Uganda, was a commander of the LRA, a merciless rebel group led by the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony that killed, maimed, and abducted thousands of civilians, many of them children, in remote regions of northern Uganda, northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic for over two decades.

In December 2003, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda referred the LRA situation to the ICC, which opened an investigation into the situation in northern Uganda and issued warrants for Ongwen and four other LRA leaders in 2005. Since that time, three suspects are believed to have been killed. Kony remains at large believed to be in the thick jungles of CAR where the hunt is going on.

Ongwen according to HRW was himself abducted into LRA ranks at age 10 when he was on his way to school. Senior LRA leaders gave him military training, and he grew to be known as one of the more ruthless commanders.

After Ugandan forces pushed the LRA out of northern Uganda in 2005 and 2006, fighters reportedly under Ongwen’s command and other LRA forces committed vicious attacks and terrorized communities in Congo’s Bas Uele and Haut Uele districts over several years.

The US had offered a US$5 million reward for information leading to Ongwen’s arrest. HRW emphasized that while the United States is not a party to the ICC, it can assist with the transfer of Ongwen and other ICC suspects to the court.

Such action was taken in 2013 when another ICC fugitive, Bosco Ntaganda, a former Congolese army general and warlord, entered the US embassy in Kigali, Rwanda.

“The Central African Republic and Uganda are both ICC members, obligated to cooperate with the ICC under the ICC’s treaty, the Rome Statute.”

Legal conundrum  

Under the Rome Statute, the ICC only prosecutes cases when national courts are unable or unwilling to prosecute.

Once a case has been taken up by the court, as in the Ongwen case, it would only revert to national courts on the basis of what is known as an admissibility challenge, in which a state can show that it is investigating and prosecuting him for the same crimes.

In 2011, Uganda established a judicial unit with authority to try serious crimes committed in violation of international law, known as the International Crimes Division.

“Justice for LRA victims and fair proceedings for Ongwen should be the priority at this time,” Bekele said. “Authorities negotiating Ongwen’s future should respect the ICC warrant. Ongwen belongs in The Hague and any country seeking to prosecute him should then raise the issue with the ICC.”

“Ongwen is believed to be the only former child abductee to face charges before the ICC. Judicial proceedings against Ongwen would raise important issues regarding a defendant who was himself a former child soldier, even though the crimes Ongwen is charged with were committed as an adult.

Bekele said Ongwen’s abduction was a war crime, and he was denied parental care and spent formative years under the control of a group notorious for extreme brutality.

“These are mitigating factors that should be considered during possible sentencing in the event of trial and conviction, and may also be relevant to his legal defense,” he added.

“Ongwen is both a victim and alleged perpetrator of LRA atrocities,” Bekele said. “Judicial proceedings need to take into account not only Ongwen’s alleged crimes, but also the LRA’s brutal indoctrination of children and its possible impact on Ongwen.”

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