News / Africa

Kony Manhunt To Intensify

Joseph Kony of the Lord's Resistance Army (file photo) - ReutersJoseph Kony of the Lord's Resistance Army (file photo) - Reuters
x
Joseph Kony of the Lord's Resistance Army (file photo) - Reuters
Joseph Kony of the Lord's Resistance Army (file photo) - Reuters
Peter Heinlein
ADDIS ABABA - Four Central African nations are preparing to ratchet up the hunt for the fugitive outlaw Joseph Kony and members of his rebel Lord's Resistance Army. Military leaders are organizing a coordinated campaign to put an end to nearly three decades of LRA terror.

The defense ministers and army chiefs of Uganda, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo Tuesday discussed the rules of engagement for an offensive to stamp out the LRA.  South Sudan is also involved in the effort, but its officials were said to be busy elsewhere and could not attend.

Officials say the military chiefs will ask the African Union and the United Nations to endorse a robust mandate for their campaign.  AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra says the goal is to neutralize not just the self-proclaimed prophet Kony, but his entire band of 150 to 200 followers.

"Joseph Kony would be a good result of our concerted joint action but then you have to be sure you neutralize the whole organization," Lamamra said.

About 2,500 troops are already said to be engaged in the Kony manhunt.  Lamamra says he expects that number to double as the campaign gains momentum.

"The target is 5,000 troops to be deployed in what we call the theater of operations, covers part of the territory of the DRC, the Central African Republic and South Sudan.  But then you have troops from the countries themselves and troops from Uganda," Lamamra said.

Kony and his LRA have waged a 26-year reign of terror in Central Africa, attacking and looting villages, killing and kidnapping their inhabitants, and displacing millions of people from their homes.

Ugandan military commanders last month accused Sudan of helping the LRA, a charge the Khartoum government denied.

The United States designated the LRA a terrorist group in 2001. Last year, U.S. President Barack Obama dispatched 100 military advisers to Central Africa to work with the regional forces.

But the long hunt for Kony moved up the political agenda recently, following the online success of a video by a group campaigning for his capture.

At a U.S. Senate hearing last month, lawmakers signaled they would push to expand a State Department “Rewards for Justice” program to include Kony.  Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson told senators the United States is providing radios and cellphones to communities in the Congo as part of the campaign to bring Kony and his followers to justice.  

Commissioner Lamamra told reporters the Peace and Security Council is slated to review the manhunt strategy next week and send it on for approval by the United Nations Security Council in June.

When asked whether he thought this intensified campaign would worry Kony, who has avoided capture for decades, Lamamra commented, "He has every reason to be scared."

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid