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Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony 'in surrender talks'

By BBC | November 21st 2013

The government of the Central African Republic (CAR) has said it is in talks with Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony with the aim of his surrender.

A CAR government spokesman told the BBC that Kony was in the country but wanted his security to be guaranteed before giving himself up.

Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes.

The US has offered up to $5m (£3.3m) for leads resulting in his arrest.

This is the first time for many years that Kony's whereabouts have been revealed.

Also on Wednesday, the African Union's special envoy on the LRA, Francisco Madeira, told the UN Security Council he had seen reports that Kony was suffering from a "serious, uncharacterized illness".

In April the Ugandan army suspended a search for Kony in the CAR, blaming "hostility" from the government formed when rebel forces took power there.

Joseph Kony and the estimated 200-500 fighters of his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) have waged war in Uganda and the region for more than two decades.

He claims the LRA's mission is to install a government in Uganda based on the Biblical Ten Commandments.

But his rebels have terrorised large swathes of the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and the CAR and he is wanted by the International Criminal Court accused of rape, mutilation and murder of civilians, as well as forcibly recruiting children to serve as soldiers and sex slaves.

His global notoriety increased when a US activist group called Invisible Children released a video, Kony 2012, which went viral on the internet and was viewed tens of millions of times across the world.

The highly emotive video profiled Kony and the history of the LRA, but Invisible Children came in for criticism from some for oversimplifying the conflict and for not spending enough of the money raised on the LRA's victims.


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