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Uganda slaps 92 new charges on former rebel commander

Prosecution read out charges against former Lord’s Resistance Army commander Thomas Kwoyelo

Uganda slaps 92 new charges on former rebel commander

By Halima Athumani


The Ugandan government Tuesday has slapped 92 new charges on former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel commander Thomas Kwoyelo.

Appearing before the International Crimes Division of the High Court in the capital Kampala, Kwoyelo stood for over six hours as the prosecution read out the charges.

The former LRA commander is charged with 46 counts of murder as crimes against humanity, 17 counts of kidnapping with intent to murder, six counts of injury to personal dignity and three counts of rape.

Other counts include cruel treatment and other inhumane acts as well as crime against humanity, torture and enslavement.

The prosecution stated that the systematic acts committed amounted to violations of Article 3 of the Geneva Convention and other serious violations of international humanitarian law and of the Uganda penal code.

The charges deal with events that occurred between 1992 and 2005, period during which Kwoyelo rose through the ranks of the Lord’s Resistance Army and “had effective command, control and authorities over his subordinates which he exercised to carry out his orders in the conflict”.

The LRA has reportedly carried out protracted armed violence, using guns and machetes on civilians through well-structured armed forces under the overall leadership of Joseph Kony, who remains at large.

The offenses were committed in the context of an armed conflict in Northern Uganda between the LRA and the country's armed forces for over 20 years.

Kwoyelo was arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2008. He was freed in 2011 after a constitutional court ruling said he was entitled to amnesty. This ruling was later overturned.

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