Rebel LRA commander in custody of CAR

The US army said last week Dominic Ongwen had surrendered, marking a major success.

Soldiers of the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) patrol in the northerneastern part of the Central African Republic to secure the area from rebel groups' possible attacks, on June 25, 2014. Picture: AFP.

KAMPALA - Ugandan forces have handed a commander from the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) into the custody of the Central African Republic's government, the Ugandan army said on Saturday, moving his transfer to the International Criminal Court a step closer.

The US army said last week Dominic Ongwen had surrendered, marking a major success in the campaign to crush the LRA, a group that first rose up against Uganda in the late 1980s and which gained a reputation for massacres and mutilating victims.

Ongwen, 34, was in recent days held by the Ugandan contingent of the US-backed AU Regional Task Force, set up to fight the LRA. Uganda had said he would be sent to the court in The Hague by the Central African Republic government.

Uganda's military spokesman, Paddy Ankunda, said in a statement that Ongwen was now in the custody of the Central African Republic. "He was flown to Bangui," he said, before his transfer to The Hague, without saying when that would be.

ICC had issued a warrant to arrest Ongwen for war crimes and crimes against humanity.