Senior LRA rebel commander defects in CAR

2016-02-13 13:33


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Dakar - A senior commander of the rebel group Lord's Resistance Army has defected to villagers in the Central African Republic, says the US Africa Command.

The rebel commander defected near the community of Pangbayanga and is being debriefed in the country by the African Union regional task force and US forces, the command said.

The defecting commander has been a part of the rebel group for more than a decade, though he has not been indicted by the International Criminal Court, nor designated under the State Department's War Crimes Rewards Programme, said an official. 

Putting on trial

Ugandan and Congolese troops and US forces, acting as military advisers, are co-operating in the hunt for the rebels, including fugitive Ugandan LRA warlord Joseph Kony, in the jungles of Central Africa.

Originating in Uganda in the 1980s as a tribal uprising against the government, the LRA's rebellion is one of Africa's longest and most brutal. At the peak of its powers the group razed villages, raped women and amputated limbs. It is especially notorious for recruiting boys to fight and taking girls as sex slaves.

The group is reportedly in decline, with many of its fighters surrendering or dying in firefights with African troops across Central Africa.

Dominic Ongwen, one of the most senior commanders in Kony's army, is the only member in the ICC's custody. A hearing started in January to determine if evidence is strong enough to merit putting him on trial.

Ongwen was indicted in 2005 and sent to the court a year ago after surrendering to US forces in Central African Republic.

Read more on:    lra  |  car  |  uganda

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