U.S. troops transfer captured LRA commander to Ugandan forces

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 14, 2015 1:16 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior Lord's Resistance Army chief who surrendered to U.S. troops in the Central African Republic has been transferred to Ugandan forces and will be handed over to the International Criminal Court to stand trial, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said LRA leader Dominic Ongwen had been transferred to the Ugandan contingent of the African Union's Regional Task Force (AURTF).

Uganda has in the past sought the international court's help in bringing LRA chief Joseph Kony to justice. Washington is not a member of the ICC, although it has cooperated with it in the past.

The arrest of Ongwen, 34, is a major success in the campaign to crush the Lord's Resistance Army, which has involved African troops with U.S. military support.

Warren said the governments of Uganda and the Central African Republic had consulted and agreed Ongwen would be transferred to the ICC in The Hague, which has issued a warrant seeking his arrest on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"The removal of this senior Lord's Resistance Army leader from the battlefield is an example of the impact the AURTF has had in the fight to end the scourge of the LRA," Warren said.

The LRA first rose up against Uganda in the late 1980s, gaining a reputation for massacres and mutilating victims.

(Reporting by David Alexander and Phil Stewart; Editing by Grant McCool)