Video Duration 02 minutes 04 seconds

Dominic Ongwen ICC trial: Child victim or war criminal?

Defence lawyers for former Ugandan warlord Dominic Ongwen, on trial for war crimes at The Hague are presenting him as a victim of the LRA’s crimes, not their architect.

Defence lawyers for a former top commander in Uganda‘s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have begun their case at the International Criminal Court.

Dominic Ongwen is facing 70 charges of war crimes, including murder, sexual slavery and recruiting child soldiers.

Ongwen’s lawyers say he was abducted by the LRA when he was 10 years old and argue he is not a criminal, but a victim.

More than 200,000 people have lost their lives in LRA attacks since the group was founded in 1987. Tens of thousands of others survived atrocities they say the group committed. But it will be for judges at the ICC to determine whether Ongwen is guilty or was another of the LRA’s hundreds of thousands of victims.

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan reports.