International

As Uganda Calls Off Search, U.S. Offers $5 Million Bounty For Joseph Kony

Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army has been among the world's most brutal rebel forces for a quarter-century. But the Ugandan group received only sporadic international attention before this week, when an Internet video about Kony went viral. Here, Kony is shown in 2006 in southern Sudan. i i

Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army has been among the world's most brutal rebel forces for a quarter-century. But the Ugandan group received only sporadic international attention before this week, when an Internet video about Kony went viral. Here, Kony is shown in 2006 in southern Sudan. STR/AP hide caption

itoggle caption STR/AP
Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army has been among the world's most brutal rebel forces for a quarter-century. But the Ugandan group received only sporadic international attention before this week, when an Internet video about Kony went viral. Here, Kony is shown in 2006 in southern Sudan.

Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army has been among the world's most brutal rebel forces for a quarter-century. But the Ugandan group received only sporadic international attention before this week, when an Internet video about Kony went viral. Here, Kony is shown in 2006 in southern Sudan.

STR/AP

There are two significant developments in the search for the Lord's Resistance Army chief Joseph Kony to tell you about today: Uganda announced it was suspending its search for Kony, but at the same time, the United States announced it was offering a $5 million reward for information that leads to his capture.

Kony has been terrorizing civilians in central Africa for 25 years. Estimates are that about 400,000 people were displaced as a result of the Lord Resistance Army's activities.

Reuters reports:

"Uganda provides more than 3,000 troops of a 5,000-strong African Union force hunting Kony and his fighters, thought to be hiding in jungles straddling the borders of Central African Republic, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.

"A separate coalition of rebels in Central African Republic, known as Seleka, toppled President Francois Bozize last month. They swept into the capital Bangui in a lightning offensive which triggered days of looting and drew international condemnation."

The Guardian reports that the African Union put the mission on hold because the new Central African government "is not co-operating with the mission, Uganda's top military official said."

The AP reports the U.S. bounty comes as a part of a State Department provision in the War Crimes Rewards Program. The law was written by Secretary of State John Kerry when he was a senator. The law used to cover suspects "wanted only by international criminal tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia."

But Kerry's bill expanded it to cover "those wanted by the International Criminal Court and other international tribunals, such as those envisioned for the Democratic Republic of Congo and potentially Syria."

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