The U.S. Embassy in Uganda said a top Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) commander is now in the custody of Ugandan troops who are part of an African force tasked with hunting down the rebel fighters.
The embassy said U.S. Special Forces handed over Dominic Ongwen early Wednesday in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.), where he had turned himself in on January 6.
A Ugandan army spokesman said Tuesday that Ongwen would be sent on to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The ICC has charged him with war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Uganda makes up the largest contingent of the African Union Regional Task Force, which also includes South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the C.A.R.
U.S. advisers have been working with the African force, and the U.S. Embassy said Wednesday that Ongwen's removal from the battlefield "is a visible symbol of our successful partnership."
The LRA is accused of killing and kidnapping tens of thousands of people over the past three decades, first in an uprising against the Ugandan government, then as a roving band of fighters in Congo, South Sudan, and the C.A.R.
In addition to Ongwen, four other LRA leaders have been charged by the ICC with war crimes and crimes against humanity.