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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid