News / Africa

UN, AU: CAR Held Surrender Talks with Kony

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 - +
Reuters
— The Central African Republic has been in contact with warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army fighters to urge them to surrender, but Kony's whereabouts are still unknown, the United Nations and the African Union said on Wednesday.
 
Kony, who has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, waged a brutal guerrilla war against Ugandan government in the north of the country for nearly two decades, before fleeing with his fighters into the jungles of central Africa around 2005.
 
A 5,000-strong African Union Regional Task Force, supported by about 100 U.S. Special Forces, has been hunting Kony and his fighters. Most of them are thought to be hiding in jungles straddling the borders of Central African Republic, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
“The current military pressure has kept the LRA, including its leader Joseph Kony, on the run,” the AU's special envoy on the LRA, Francisco Madeira, told the U.N. Security Council.
 
“This heightened pressure forced the LRA to try his time-tested tricks of buying time by duping the CAR authorities into “negotiations” to purportedly allow Kony and his LRA to “surrender” and re-settle in Nzako, CAR,” he said.
 
Instead, Madeira said, according to the Regional Task Force Kony has used the negotiations as a window of opportunity to relocate many of his fighters to north-eastern CAR.
 
Madeira and the head of the U.N. Regional Office for Central Africa, Abou Moussa, who also briefed the council, said that Michel Djotodia, interim president of the virtually lawless Central African Republican, told them he had contacted Kony.
 
“His people have been in contact with him (Kony), and they wanted to encourage him to surrender,” Madeira told reporters after the briefing. “Many reports indicate that he is suffering from some serious illness, uncharacterized illness.”
 
Djotodia became interim CAR president after northern Seleka rebels seized the capital, Bangui, in March and ousted President Francois Bozize. Since then the landlocked, nation of 4.6 million people has slipped into chaos.
 
Kony and his commanders are accused of abducting thousands of children throughout the region to use as fighters in a rebel army that earned a reputation for chopping off limbs as a form of discipline.
 
“Military operations have degraded the LRA and limited it to pursuing survival tactics. However, recent attacks in South Sudan attributed to the LRA are a reminder that the group  remains a serious and unpredictable threat to communities throughout 
the sub-region,” Moussa told the Security Council.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid