Kony Hunt fails, Uganda & US withdraws from CAR

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Ugandan soldiers hunt for Kony through thick forests of DRC, Photo By : Ben Simon

By Nangayi Guyson – nangayi.guyson@alleastafrica.com

Kampala, Uganda – For  about five years ago, the hunt for the LRA Commander in Chief Joseph Kony and his men was the number one priority for the United States of America and Uganda.

In 2011, President Barack Obama authorized the deployment of 150 U.S. troops to help Ugandan troops that had already deployed heavily in Central Africa Republic to pull out the notorious Joseph Kony from hiding. But this Kony hunt which brought millions of people across the world to attention through a YouTube Video named “Kony 2012,”  that was viewed 100 million times in a week, seems to have failed as the two countries have started withdrawing troops from the Central.

The first batch of Ugandan troops that had been part of the African Union Regional Task Force in the hunting for Kony since 2012 arrived today 19th April 2017 in Gulu in the northern part of the country and were received by UPDF officials according to the press release by ministry of Defence and veterans affairs.

Uganda said that the decision to withdraw was premised on the realization that the mission to neutralize the LRA has now been successfully achieved and the LRA capacity of making war against Uganda have been degraded. Senior Key Commanders such as; Dominic Ongwen, Okot Odyambo and other fighters have over the years been killed, captured or surrendered.

The U.S. military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) that had spent more than $780 million on the operation also  announced in late March that it was pulling American troops from Central African Republic (CAR), a fragile state where the LRA has partially relocated after having been chased from Uganda.

Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a guerrilla group that waged war in Uganda since early 1980s and was chased out of Uganda between 2004 and 2005, was indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, in 2005 but has evaded capture.

He is accused of turning guns on his people by ordering the abduction of 66,000 children to become child soldiers and sex slaves and also displacing 2 million people internally from 1986 to 2009.

Kony proclaimed himself the spokesperson of God and a spirit medium and also claimed he is visited by a multinational host of 13 spirits, including a Chinese phantom.

Kony has been subject to an Interpol Red Notice at the request of the ICC since 2006.

Since the Juba peace talks in 2006 failed, the LRA no longer operate in Uganda. Sources claim that they are in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or Central African Republic or South Sudan.

In 2013, Kony was reported to be in poor health and Michel Djotodia, president of the Central African Republic, claimed he was negotiating with Kony to surrender

One of his Senior Key Commanders, Dominic Ongwen, handed himself to the ICC at the end of 2014 where his facing trail after falling out with Kony for having disobeyed his orders and having refused to answer Kony’s radio messages.

The failure for  the hunt of Kony means no justice is expected for the victims of  war in Northern Uganda.

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