A witness in the ongoing trial of former LRA commander, Dominic Ongwen at the International Criminal Court has said that abducted women were distributed to rebel leader Joseph Kony as well as other commanders.
This was revealed on Thursday by Jackson Acama, a former LRA abductee during his witness.
A day before, Acama had told court that he was previously a school teacher before was forced to join the LRA. In the LRA, he was a technician at the Yard Koi where he controlled enemies’ firearms through prayer.
His other role in the yard was ‘Clerk to the spirit’ who took notes of what Kony said when he was possessed by spirits and read them back to Kony later on, after the spirits left.
On the second day of his testimony, Acama said that according to the LRA rules, girls and women who were abducted by the rebels were given to Kony, the other commanders and soldiers.
He said that giving abducted women to commanders and soldiers as wives was not considered as an offence. This, he said, was done to “reduce immorality” and “reduce rape” in the community.
Acama also told court that women that “were given” to Kony, had to be “beautiful”, “highly educated”, and “well-behaved”.
Kony assessed the girls, sometimes he “rejected” some women and other times he accepted them and kept them.
While answering queries from defence counsel Krispus Ayena, Acama said that at one point he was shot at during an ambush by Ugandan government soldiers. He sustained injuries on his leg which forced him to be admitted in the LRA’s “sick bay” and later on he was flown to Sudan for his leg to be amputated.
In the sick bay, he was given the military rank of captain “in absentia”. He was later promoted to Major and was an administrator in the Casualty unit of the LRA. His duty was to make sure that the sick and wounded had food and medicine, and “all things necessary for human life”.
The former rebel also disclosed that dreams were very important” in LRA as they considered it to be God’s way of communicating to them.
Kony asked people to tell him what they dreamt about, and Kony interpreted it, Acama said on his testimony.
When asked by the Defence Counsel whether Kony prophesied about international matters, the witness answered in the affirmative explaining that Kony said that “the religious war is ongoing, you see in Islamic states, groups such as the Al Qaeda, Al shabaab, boko haram, this makes the prophesy come to pass.”
He said that Kony only used the influence of the Holy Spirit not witchcraft or any other practices of dark, satanic world.
Regarding Dominic Ongwen, Mr Acama said that the accused was abducted when he was going to school. The accused was “very young”, “disciplined”, “not a bad character in him” and “obedient”.
Among the charges that Ongwen is facing at the ICC are sexual and gender-based crimes committed from 2002 to 2005 in Sinia Brigade – forced marriage, rape, torture, sexual slavery, and enslavement by Sinia Brigade which he headed.
The trial proceedings have been adjourned to Monday October 29.