(Xinhua) -- The International Criminal
Court (ICC) chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda on Sunday announced
that she is going to expand war crimes charges against Dominic
Ongwen, Ugandan rebel commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)
currently before the Court.
Addressing the victims of
the 2004 Barlonyo massacre here in the northern Ugandan district
of Lira, Bensouda said that after her office issued arrest
warrants against Ongwen, LRA leader Joseph Kony, his deputy
Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo and Raska Lukwiya, the commanders
continued to commit atrocities in Uganda, South Sudan,
Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic.
"This case has been in hibernation for 11 years because
we didn’t have any of the indicted commanders in our
"Now that we have Ongwen, a lot of work needs to be done.
I have asked the Judges to postponed the confirmation
charges and trial of Ongwen for four months," said Bensouda.
"This is to enable us to revive, get new evidence, do
fresh investigations and re-contact our witness.
"We are expanding the investigations.
"We need to expand the charges.
"We have received information after the warrants were
issued, the LRA continued to commit atrocities in Uganda and
the neighboring countries," she said.
She added, "We will need your continued support and
"We need anybody (victims) who can help give us new
information and evidence to build a strong case against
The Hague based court issued it’s first arrest warrants
against the five LRA commanders on war crimes and crimes against
Bensouda who is currently in the East African country for a
five-day official visit laid a wreath on the Barlonyo monument,
where over 300 people were buried in mass graves.
The LRA rebels on February 21, 2004 attacked Barlonyo
Internaly Displaced Persons camp and massacred over 300 people.
"This was emotional to me. It touched me as a mother and a
"Ongwen appearance at the Court is the start of the
process for the victims to get justice.
"The victims will get justice they deserve," said
She added that they are going to discuss at the Court the
possibility of having some prosecution of Ongwen in Uganda.
Bensouda also told the victims that Ongwen has chosen
Ugandan lawyer, Odongo Otto as his defense lawyer during his
prosecution at The Hague based court.
"The Court had given him Hellen Cisse.
But the defendant has a right to chose his own lawyer.
Ongwen has chosen his Ugandan lawyer Otto to represent
him," said Bensouda.