News / Africa

African Troops Kill Senior LRA Commander, Uganda Says

TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— U.S.-backed African Union troops have killed a senior commander in the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan army spokesman said on Tuesday, part of efforts to track down the guerrilla group and send its leader to the Hague.

U.S Special Forces have supported a Regional Task Force (RTF) of African troops since 2011 to try to track down LRA leader Joseph Kony, wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in a guerrilla war in Uganda and neighboring states.

The group, which launched its uprising two decades ago, has moved from Uganda to the border region of Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR), where analysts say it could rebuild in the political chaos sweeping through the country.

“We were alerted last week by our U.S. partners about a group of 30 LRA fighters who were about to cross River Vovodo in southeastern CAR,” said Uganda's deputy army spokesman, Major Robert Ngabirano.

“We subsequently deployed and managed to kill 14 including Colonel Samuel Kangul who is Kony's chief planner and No. 4 in their hierarchy. Some others drowned in the river and we were also able to capture one alive,” he said, adding the team had also captured weapons and two satellite phones.

A U.S. Special Forces adviser in South Sudan, speaking to Reuters on the condition of anonymity, said a U.S. helicopter ferried Ugandan troops with the RTF into CAR's remote Vovodo and Chinko river basin on Nov. 22. The mission lasted a week.

He did not give details about LRA members killed in the mission involving 20 Ugandan commandos with U.S. personnel, although he put the number at five to 10 deaths.

“The river basin has been denied now as an area LRA previously had freedom of movement,” he said. “The operation also resulted in a lot of belt and magazine fed military weapons being captured.”

LRA fighters are well known for using extreme violence, including chopping off limbs as a form of punishment, as well as raping young girls and abducting them for use as sex slaves.

The African Union and the United Nations said last month the Central African Republic had been in contact with Kony and LRA fighters to urge them to surrender, but said Kony's whereabouts were still unknown.

Prior to the RTF assault, the LRA launched an attack on Nazinga and Tambura villages in South Sudan on Nov. 7, the first such raid in that region in two years.

Colonel Gabriel Ayor, a South Sudanese RTF deputy commander based in Yambio, said the attack appeared to be driven by a need for food, suggesting the LRA had been weakened. He called it “desperation not an offensive move”.

John Zawo, the Anglican Bishop of Ezo diocese in South Sudan that sits on the border with Congo and CAR, said better communications were needed to protect the region from the LRA.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
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.
AppleAndroid