AU force set to hunt down Kony

March 26, 2012 at 10:30 AM
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JUBA, South Sudan, March 26 (UPI) -- African Union forces are launching a military force from South Sudan to stop Ugandan war crimes fugitive Joseph Kony, an envoy said.

Francisco Madeira, an AU special envoy, said the African Union was setting up a force to track down Kony, the Lord's Resistance Army leader. He is believed to be hiding in the Central African Republic.

"We need to stop Kony with hardware -- with military hardware in this case," he was quoted by the BBC as saying. "We are on a mission to stop him."

U.N. officials said LRA numbers have dwindled substantially though the group remains a regional threat. The 5,000-member AU force, authorities said, would remain active until it locates Kony.

The United Nations said the LRA is suspected of massacres in regional villages and is notorious for its use of child solders. The world body said since 2004, only remnants of the group remain. There's been a rise in attacks attributed to the LRA in 2012, however.

Kony remains at large despite a 2005 indictment by the International Criminal Court on more than 30 counts of violations of international law, including war crimes.

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