Lord's Resistance Army 'big fish' captured

May 14, 2012 at 7:09 AM
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BANGUI, Central African Republic, May 14 (UPI) -- A top lieutenant of the Lord's Resistance Army, known for its attacks on civilians and use of child soldiers, has been captured, Ugandan officials said.

Commanders presented Caesar Achellam to the media after his capture in what officials described as a weekend raid in the Central African Republic, one of several African Union nations committed to tracking down LRA leader Joseph Kony, wanted for war crimes by an international tribunal, CNN reported Monday.

"This is a big fish," said Col. Felix Kulayigye, Ugandan military spokesman. "For Caesar to be in our hands, it is a big statement as far as our efforts to end this rebellion."

Achellam told reporters he hoped his capture would encourage "my people remaining in the brush" to surrender to authorities, "so that sooner maybe the war would come to an end."

Kony is accused of using brutal tactics to recruit children to be soldiers and sex slaves, and of cutting off ears, noses and limbs of his victims. After leading a failed coup attempt against the Ugandan government, he was pushed out of the country in 2006 and has been on the move in other countries in the region since.

Achellam, who led the LRA's military intelligence, was captured with his wife, a daughter and an aide, New Vision reported.

The capture was made after a visit to the Central African Republic by Abou Moussa, the U.N. special representative for Central Africa, the Kampala, Uganda, newspaper said.

Moussa said Kony switches locations almost daily.

"People who have defected have provided information on his state of mind. Kony is no longer very, very stable," Moussa said.

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