Hunt for Joseph Kony intensifies

2012-04-30 14:00

Uganda - The hunt for Africa's most wanted man, Joseph Kony, has intensified as US special forces have joined the Ugandan army to help find him.

His decades-old war kept much of north Uganda trapped in a nightmare of violence, hunger and fear of night-time raids by his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

Here is a look at Kony and his rebel group:

* The LRA emerged in the late 1980s in northern Uganda as a successor to the Holy Spirit Movement, a rebel group led by Kony's aunt Alice Lakwena - defeated by Ugandan forces.

* When Kony launched his war against the government of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who seized power in 1986, he said he wanted to fight for the rights of the Acholi, a marginalised northern tribe.

* When his people did not back his campaign, Kony fled to south Sudan with a plan to obliterate the "treacherous" Acholi.

* Kony, who served as an altar boy in his village, has claimed he talks to angels and wants to rule Uganda according to the biblical Ten Commandments.

* Preaching a mix of Christian beliefs and traditional African religion, he initially attracted a wide following but failed to win lasting support and, under pressure from the Ugandan army and local resistance, he was forced out of Uganda.

* The LRA became notorious for abducting children for use as soldiers and sex slaves. An LRA hallmark is slicing off lips and ears of "collaborators" to punish and mark them out. Many of Kony's thousands of abductees were forced to kill children who tried to escape, or murder their own relatives, fostering a sense of complicity that guarantees subservience.

* Under Kony's instruction, child soldiers and their commanders, many barely in their teens, carried out the most violent attacks on unarmed villagers.

* More than 300 civilians were shot, hacked and burned to death in February 2004 in one LRA raid on a camp housing some of the more than 1.6 million people uprooted by the war.

* Kony, who has worn his hair in dreadlocks or braids and sometimes dressed in women's clothes, according to former fighters, is a powerful speaker.

* A self-proclaimed mystic, Kony was indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity in 2005.

* Several attempts to capture him by the UN and Ugandan forces over the past few years have failed. However, a 58-man special operations group, codenamed 77-kilo, is at the forefront of a reinvigorated international drive to close the net on Kony and the depleted remnants of the LRA.

* US President Barack Obama sent 100 US military advisers to central Africa last October to help Ugandan forces in the hunt for Kony.

* Uganda's military estimates the LRA has been reduced to no more than 200 fighters in the Central African Republic. Pockets of LRA fighters also remain in Congo.

They move in small groups and avoid using satellite phones and radios, making them hard to intercept.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  us  |  uganda  |  east africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


7 tips for the ultimate family camping trip

Taking the kids on a camping trip can be one of the most memorable holidays they will ever have!


Where were you when you last felt alive?

BASE jump off the world’s tallest building!
Stand up paddler rides over shark!
Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.