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CIC Saskatoon: The Dilemma of Dominic Ongwen – The Socialisation, Reintegration, and Criminal Culpability of Former Child Soldiers

September 20, 2017 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EDT


CIC-Saskatoon begins the celebration of CIC’s 90th year with a powerful presentation by Dr. Kjell Anderson former vice president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and longtime friend to CIC.

How should we treat perpetrators of horrendous crimes when they themselves started out as victims? And how does participation in violence alter perpetrator memory and self-identity?

Our speaker provides answers to these questions through evidence and interviews from the case of Dominic Ongwen – a former child soldier with the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda, who is currently on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Ongwen was abducted when he was around ten years old – and exposed to violent initiation rituals and public punishments – and he rose steadily through the ranks of the LRA. Although he was certainly a victim when he was first abducted as a child, he also showed personal initiative and went on to commit atrocities against civilians in northern Uganda.
The case of Ongwen poses vital questions for transitional justice, particularly, how can courts, which deal largely in binary categories of guilt and innocence, address situations where perpetrators are also victims?


6:00 pm Doors open
6:30 pm Dinner with the speaker
7:40 pm Doors open to the public
8:00 pm Public presentation begins

Speaker’s Biography

Kjell Anderson is a criminologist and jurist specialized in the study of mass violence and mass atrocities. He holds PhD and LLM degrees in International Human Rights Law (from the National University of Ireland and Utrecht University, respectively), as well as MA and BA degrees in Conflict Studies (from Carleton University and the University of Saskatchewan. His forthcoming book Perpetrating Genocide: A Criminological Account (Routledge 2017) is based on interviews with perpetrators and victims of atrocities in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Bosnia, Iraq, Bangladesh, India, and Cambodia. He is a former vice president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and a current member of the Board of Directors of the Sentinel Project for Genocide Prevention.


Register by  Monday, September 18, 2017

Two ways to register by Eventbrite:

[1] Presentation only – 8 pm – free
[2] Dinner with the speaker at 6 pm, followed by presentation.
Students – $20 per plate
All other CIC members – $25 per plate
Nonmembers – $30 per plate

If joining for dinner, payment by credit card (deadline: September 18, 4:00 p.m.). Dinner registrants will be expected to pay even if they cannot or do not attend. Persons with dinner reservations who cannot attend are encouraged to find someone else to take their place.

For more information, contact: Dan Sutherland at saskatoon@thecic.org


September 20, 2017
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EDT
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