Notorious former Lord’s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen made his first appearance before the International Criminal Court on Monday, accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The initial hearing for the Ugandan child soldier-turned-warlord came days after he was transferred to The Hague-based court following his surprise surrender to US troops earlier this month.
A calm and composed Ongwen wore a blue suit, white shirt and blue chequered tie as he identified himself as born in Gulu in northern Uganda in 1975.
“I’d like to thank God for creating Heaven and Earth, together with everyone that’s on Earth,” Ongwen said.
“I was abducted in 1988 and I was taken to the bush when I was 14 years old until now,” he said in Acholi, the language spoken in northern Uganda.
“Prior to my arrival at court I was a soldier in the LRA,” he said.