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Joseph Kony thinks he’s led by God’s spirit, witness tells ICC

Joseph Kony speaks during a meeting with a delegation of 160 officials and lawmakers from northern Uganda in July 2006. (AP)

By Our Reporter

“Kony has a spirit. And he calls himself Lord.  When he is referring to his group as the Lord’s, he thinks the spirit is coming from God,” a witness has told the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The “unusual” witness, who identified himself as an “Ajwaki” (Acholi word for witchdoctor) on Tuesday walked into the ICC courtroom to defend former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel commander Dominic Ongwen, who is facing trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

It was a first in history that the international crimes court is hosting a witness conversant with the underworld, a local news daily wrote on Thursday.

The witch doctor said rebel leader Joseph Kony is driven by “invisible spiritual powers” to commit atrocities.

“That is the reason Kony has been in the bush for long. He can see government forces coming. That is the power of the spirits. You know what is going to happen when the spirit tells you what it wants you to do. If it tells you to leave, you leave. If it says stop, you stop. And if it tells you to kill, you kill,” the witness said, according to sources.

Camouflaged and with face and voice distorted, the Daily Monitor says the ICC courtroom went mute as the “unusual” witness walked the three judges of the court through the spiritual underworld.

He told court that Ongwen could have committed atrocities under the influence of spirits.

Defence lawyer Krispus Ayena Odongo, who was questioning the witness, said: “It’s quite revealing.”

“I know it’s also difficult for the court and other people from different parts of the world to believe that spirits actually exist,” Mr Ayena reportedly said.

“Leave out the general issue of the spirits, but you could mention what relates to Mr [Joseph] Kony,” the presiding judge Bertram Schmitt ordered.

The witch doctor claimed had Ongwen disobeyed the commands, he could have ended up killed.

“There are some children who upon return were brought to me for therapy and I would ask them what happened in the bush. They would tell me when you are there; something stops you from going home even if you are nearby. I asked them what made them lose interest to return and they said they they didn’t know,” he added.

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