A notorious Ugandan rebel commander accused of kidnapping children and planning massacres is on his way to face charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, court officials announced Tuesday.
Dominic Ongwen, a child soldier turned commander with the Lord’s Resistance Army, is in the custody of court officials. He had been a fugitive since being charged in 2005 with three counts of crimes against humanity and four counts of war crimes. He was detained by American forces in the Central African Republic early this month and handed over to a court delegation, with the aid of United Nations peacekeepers posted in that country.
His capture is a rare shot in the arm for a tribunal that has been unable to gain custody of several high-profile suspects, including Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. In a statement, the court took pains to thank Uganda and the United States for their “instrumental” roles in the operation.
Uganda, which bore the brunt of L.R.A. violence for years and referred the group to the court, has lately been among the court’s sharpest critics, with President Yoweri Museveni describing it as “a vessel for oppressing Africa.”
The United States, meanwhile, is not part of the court, and has been sharply critical of the Palestinians for joining the court last month. Mr. Ongwen is due to reach The Hague by early Wednesday.