Global Issues

on the Making of a Monster

A close friend, Erin Baines, has a truly amazing article in last weekend’s Globe. I have been hearing details of this story for a year or so now, and have been enthralled. You will not hear a better case, or read a better story, that so dramatically displays the challenges, hypocrisies and frustrations of international justice.

Through her work in Northern Uganda, Erin learned that Domic Ongwen, one of five leaders in Joseph Kony’s rebel movement indicted by the ICC for war crimes, had actually been abducted as a child soldier. This means that he is, as Erin and Stephanie Nolan describe, “the first person to be charged with the same war crimes that were committed against him.” Read the whole remarkable piece – if this lead doesn’t grab you, you have no soul:

GULU, Uganda — From the time he was a tiny child, his parents coached him: Use a fake name. Say you are from the west. Lie about your family.

If ever the rebels get you, they told him, make sure they don’t know where your family is – or none of us will ever be safe again.

The rebels did get him, when he was 10 years old. And when they snatched him, walking home from school on a red dirt Ugandan road, green grass high above his head on either side, he did as he had been told: He lied and said his name was Dominic Ongwen.

And so it is by that name that he now stands indicted for seven counts of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The rest is here.

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