KAMPALA — The chief bodyguard to warlord Joseph Kony has been killed by the Ugandan army in the Central African Republic, according to the Uganda military.
The head of security for Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony was killed in a military operation Friday, according to the Ugandan Ministry of Defense.
Kony’s rebel Lord's Resistance Army waged a bloody insurgency in northern Uganda for 20 years, before moving into neighboring countries in 2006. Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
He and small bands of LRA fighters have been moving between the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
Kony’s chief bodyguard was a man known as Brigadier Binani. He was also in charge of supplying child soldiers, says defense spokesman Felix Kulayigye.
“He had been in charge of gathering food and collecting abducted children for Joseph Kony,” said Kulayigye.
Although no one knows for sure where Kony is hiding, Kulayigye says finding Binani means Ugandan forces are on the right track.
“It is a big accomplishment. Once you get the chief bodyguard of the leader himself it means you are quite near. [And] two, it means that the intelligence being collected is good, and the collection methods are good as well,” added Kulayigye.
In 2011, the hunt for Kony was given a boost when U.S. President Barack Obama sent a group of U.S. special forces to Uganda to help track him down. Kulayigye says with Binani dead and LRA fighters defecting, the noose around Kony is tightening.
“In addition to these ones who were killed and captured, a number of children and former abductees had been escaping," said Kulayigye. "So sooner or later the man either will commit suicide or will be captured or killed in action.”
Last week, President Obama announced a cash reward would be offered for tips leading to Kony’s capture. At the moment, Kony is thought to be hiding out somewhere near the border of the Central African Republic and South Sudan.