News / Africa

US Offers $5 Million Reward for African War Crimes Suspects

FILE - Joseph Kony (2006 photo).
FILE - Joseph Kony (2006 photo).
VOA News
The United States is offering up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest of Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony and three other African war crimes suspects.

Kony and his top aides Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen were added to the U.S. War Crimes Rewards Program on Wednesday. Also added was Sylvestre Mudacumura, leader of the Rwandan rebel group FDLR, based in eastern Congo.

All four are being sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on multiple counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Speaking at the State Department, the ambassador for war crimes issues, Stephen Rapp, said the U.S. is making a push to end impunity for war crimes perpetrators.

“We act today so that there can be justice for the innocent men, women and children who’ve been subjected to mass murder, to rape, to amputation, enslavement, and other atrocities,” he said.

In January, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a law that allows the U.S. to offer rewards for those accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide by an international criminal tribunal.

The ICC issued arrest warrants for Kony and his aides in the rebel Lord's Resistance Army in 2005. The group has killed and kidnapped thousands of people over the past 25 years across four central African countries.

The ICC released an arrest warrant for Mudacumura last July. Mudacumura is the alleged supreme commander of the FDLR, an ethnic Hutu rebel group accused of numerous deadly attacks in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  

The group's members include fighters who carried out the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The U.S. had earlier offered rewards for nine fugitives wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

The State Department said those with possible tips on the suspects can contact a local U.S. embassy or call a toll-free telephone number, 1-800-877-3927.

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