News / Africa

    US: No Plans to Deploy Osprey to Uganda

    Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army during a meeting with a delegation of 160 officials and lawmakers from northern Uganda and representatives of non-governmental organizations, July 31, 2006, Congo near the Sudan border.
    Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army during a meeting with a delegation of 160 officials and lawmakers from northern Uganda and representatives of non-governmental organizations, July 31, 2006, Congo near the Sudan border.
    VOA News
    The U.S. State Department says there are no plans for the U.S. to temporarily deploy Osprey aircraft to Uganda to aid in efforts to hunt down fugitive warlord Joseph Kony.

    State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki made the comment Tuesday, after The Washington Post said the U.S. military had asked the White House to temporarily base Osprey aircraft in the African nation in a bid to intensify efforts to find Kony.

    "We do continue to consult with our African partners and look for ways in which we can enhance our support but again, at this time, no plans to deploy Osprey," said Psaki.

    The Osprey can land like a helicopters, but fly like a plane.  The Post said it would allow U.S. and African troops searching for Kony to cover a broader area and more quickly assault his camps.

    Kony is the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group that has terrorized central African villages for years.

    The Post also says U.S. soldiers have increased training for South Sudanese and Democratic Republic of Congo units taking part in the hunt for the warlord.

    Sasha Lezhnev is a senior policy analyst with the Enough Project, a group that works to end genocide  and crimes against humanity.

    In a VOA SKYPE interview, he said the U.S. advisory and training role has had a significant impact on efforts to diminish the capacity of the LRA.

    "The U.S. advisers have been the single game-changer in changing the LRA's strength and capacity over the last two years.  The LRA attacks have gone down by 53 percent over the last two years.  The number of killings have gone down by as much as 90 percent since the advisers have been deployed," said Lezhnev.

    But he says efforts to track down LRA militants have been hampered by rough terrain.

    "The terrain out there is very difficult.  The area that the LRA is roaming in is about the size of the [ U.S. ] state of Texas or the country of Poland.  And so, there is a lot of territory where the African Union mission is not able to cover, yet " he said.

    Kony and three other LRA leaders are wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.  

    The LRA fought the Ugandan government for 20 years before melting into the jungles of central Africa.  In recent years, Kony's fighters have attacked and looted dozens of villages, often killing inhabitants and kidnapping children who they convert into soldiers.

    The group is believed to have shrunk to just 250 fighters who travel in small bands through Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora