News24

Uganda's LRA rebel chief likely in CAR

2011-10-05 12:04

Washington - Accused war criminal Joseph Kony, the fugitive head of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army rebels, has likely taken refuge in Central Africa, the head of US Africa Command said on Tuesday.

"My best estimate at present is that Kony and the senior leaders are probably in the Central African Republic," General Carter Ham said during an appearance at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies think-tank.

"The Ugandan army is shifting its effort in that area."

The top US military officer in Africa stressed that the LRA "continues to terrorize, they continue to murder, they continue to kidnap people" in the four-nation area grouping Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

Kony, wanted by the International Criminal Court, appears to have dropped any national political agenda and in recent years his marauding troops have sown death and destruction in the region.

Tens of thousands of people were killed and nearly two million displaced during a 20-year war in northern Uganda between the rebels and security forces.

The civil war effectively ended in 2006 when a peace process was launched, but Kony and his top commanders continue to commit atrocities in remote areas of neighbouring countries.

Ham also said he hoped to increase the number of US military advisers and trainers "in the very near future" to help African countries combat the rebels. Washington is currently training a battalion in DRC and is in talks to train a second.