News / Africa

Questions Raised About Kony's Intentions as Desire for Surrender Reported

Pamela Dockins
A spokesman for Central African Republic President Michel Djotodia said the president has been in touch with fugitive warlord Joseph Kony, and that Kony is ready to surrender. U.S. special forces have been assisting African soldiers in hunting for Kony, the head of the brutal Lord's Resistance Army. Despite the recent reports, U.S. officials have questioned whether Kony is in fact ready to lay down his arms.
 
Kony's Lord's Resistance Army waged a brutal guerrilla war against Uganda's government for nearly 20 years before fleeing into central Africa around 2005.
 
The group's atrocities were summarized during a Wednesday briefing by Jeffrey Delaurentis, a U.S. special policy representative.
 
"Since its founding more than a quarter of a century ago, the Lord's Resistance Army has been a constant source of terror and suffering," he said. "Tens of thousands of Africans have died because of its rapacious violence, and countless people have been compelled to serve as underage soldiers and sex slaves."
 
However, military operations have severely weakened Kony and his fighters, according to the African Union's special envoy to the U.N., Francisco Madeira.
 
"Definitely he is no longer in peace and is feeling the pinch thanks to the pressure that the Regional Task Force is putting on him, and thanks to the operation of encouraging his men and those who are with him to defect," he said. "And a good number of them are defecting." 

Nonetheless, Madeira questioned whether Kony is truly trying to surrender, noting that the warlord may be "duping" the government in order to buy time to relocate his fighters.
 
The U.S. State Department did not comment directly on the reported talks between President Djotodia and Kony, but spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Thursday that some of Kony's fighters want to surrender.
 
"We are aware that authorities from the Central African Republic have been in contact for several months with a small LRA group that has expressed an interest in surrendering," she said.  "At this time, we have little reason to believe that Joseph Kony is part of that group."
 
Meanwhile this week, the U.S. announced plans to send $40 million in aid to help stabilize CAR.
 
Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement that "deplorable levels of violence" in the country are affecting millions of people each day.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid