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LONDON — A senior commander from the Lords Resistance Army with a $5 million bounty on his head has surrendered to U.S. forces, officials said Wednesday.The U.S. had offered the reward for information leading to the arrest of Dominic Ongwen, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Ongwen is accused of committing atrocities — including murder and enslavement — across Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan.
"We can now confirm he's the one and we can also confirm he's in our custody at our base in Obo," Paddy Ankunda, Uganda's military spokesman, told Reuters on Wednesday. "We think he was just tired of bush life and simply turned himself in."
The State Department confirmed that U.S. military forces took custody of a man in the Central African Republic who first said he was an LRA defector and later identified himself as Ongwen. It said efforts were underway to verify the man's identity. "If the individual proves to be Ongwen, his defection would represent a historic blow to the LRA’s command structure," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday.
— Cassandra Vinograd
Reuters contributed to this report