Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union (AU) has renewed by 12 months, the mandate of the task force leading the hunt for Ugandan rebel leader, Joseph Kony, whose Lords Resistance Army (LRA) is accused of committing atrocities in three countries in the Central African region.
The elusive Ugandan rebel leader has been moving his forces between Sudan, northern Uganda, the Central Africa Republic (CAR) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where they are accused of kidnapping girls and boys and turning them into sex slaves and soldiers to commit atrocities.
The AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), meeting in Addis Ababa, Wednesday endorsed the mandate renewal and called for the urgent deployment of troops to the joint task force that has been hunting down the Ugandan rebel leader, whose uprising in Northern Uganda started in 1986.
The PSC asked international organizations, including the UN, to help support the fight. The AU diplomats said support was required to enhance the deployment of troops to the various areas where the rebel force is accused of committing atrocities.
AU officials and diplomats said the UN peacekeeping missions in the region should support the hunt for the Ugandan rebel leader.
The latest development comes a week after the seizure of top LRA Commander Ceasar Achellam, who was quoted as urging the remnants of the rebel force to emerge from their hideouts and end the war.
African countries agreed to form a joint regional force to hunt down the LRA and its fighters. The aim of the operation is to diminish the group’s military capacity and stop its atrocities in the region.
The Regional Cooperation Initiative against the LRA has been ongoing. It has been receiving the support of the UN and the US, which deployed monitors to help in the hunt.
-0- PANA AO/VAO 23May2012