Hunt for Kony over, LRA ‘neu­tralised’

The Star Late Edition - - WORLD - MEL FRYKBERG ANA

THE HUNT for Joseph Kony, the leader of the no­to­ri­ous Lord’s Re­sis­tance Army (LRA) – infamous for chop­ping off limbs and de­ploy­ing child sol­diers – is over, ac­cord­ing by the Ugan­dan army.

Due to the LRA move­ment hav­ing been sig­nif­i­cantly weak­ened, and sev­eral of its lead­ers killed and oth­ers cap­tured, Uganda de­cided that the group no longer posed a se­cu­rity threat and pulled troops who were hunt­ing the LRA in the Cen­tral African Repub­lic (CAR) out of the coun­try.

“The de­ci­sion to with­draw was premised on the re­al­i­sa­tion that the mis­sion to neu­tralise the LRA has now been suc­cess­fully achieved. The LRA’s ca­pac­ity and means of mak­ing war against Uganda have been de­graded,” said Ugan­dan Army spokesper­son Richard Karemire.

Ac­cord­ing to the Su­dan Tri­bune, on March 29, the US Africa Com- mand an­nounced the re­moval of US mil­i­tary forces par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Re­gional Task Force (RTF) against the LRA due to its weak­ened sta­tus.

While Kony re­mains wanted by the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court (ICC), key rebel com­man­ders, Do­minic Ong­wen and Okot Odyambo have been killed.

Ini­tially pur­port­ing to fight against Ugan­dan gov­ern­ment sup­pres­sion dur­ing the Ugan­dan Bush War of the 1980s, the LRA al­legedly turned against Kony’s erst­while sup- porters, sup­pos­edly to “pu­rify” the Acholi peo­ple and turn Uganda into a theoc­racy.

Pro­claim­ing him­self a spokesman of God, Kony has been ac­cused by Kam­pala of or­der­ing the ab­duc­tion of chil­dren to be­come child sol­diers and sex slaves.

His ef­forts re­sulted in 66 000 chil­dren be­com­ing sol­diers and the in­ter­nal dis­place­ment of 2 mil­lion peo­ple in Uganda, the CAR, the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of the Congo and South Su­dan from 1986 to 2009.

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