Nation & World News

U.S. Sending More Troops To Hunt For Ugandan Warlord Joseph Kony

By Mark Memmott on March 24th, 2014

The U.S. is sending 150 Air Force special operations personnel to central Africa this week — more than doubling the number of American troops on the ground who are assisting in the search for infamous Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, The Washington Post reports.

Also heading there: at least four CV-22 Osprey aircraft that can ferry troops long distances and “are equipped with .50-caliber machine guns for self-defense,” the Post says.

Kony, as we’ve reported over the past two years and as NPR’s Michele Kelemen puts it, “has been terrorizing Uganda and surrounding nations for decades.” Although his Lord’s Resistance Army is thought to have only a couple hundred fighters, it is known for its brutal attacks on civilians and for turning young captives into child soldiers. Kony is wanted by prosecutors at the International Criminal Court for his tiny army’s “brutalization of civilians by acts including murder, abduction, sexual enslavement [and] mutilation.”

In early 2012, the activist group Invisible Children used YouTube, Twitter and other savvy marketing tools aimed at American teens and college students to turn Kony and the atrocities he’s accused of committing into a social cause in the U.S. and other nations.

The organization’s “Kony 2012″ video has now been viewed more than 99 million times.

President Obama first sent about 100 U.S. troops to assist in the search in October 2011. Those forces and the additional troops can defend themselves but are primarily there to advise and assist African Union forces. The search area includes parts of Uganda, the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Congo.

As the Post says, Kony’s army “poses no threat to the United States, but the administration sees assistance to the [African Union] mission as a useful way to build military and political partnerships with African governments in a region where al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations are rapidly expanding, as well as to demonstrate adherence to human rights principles.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Will Step Down, Once Successor Is Confirmed

The news comes as troops pull out of Afghanistan and begin a new offensive against the Islamic State. “Hagel was not seen as a very forceful secretary of defense,” NPR’s Tom Bowman says.


With Deadline Looming, Whispers Of Extension Begin In Iran Nuclear Talks

The two sides have been trying to hammer out a historic accord curbing Iran’s nuclear programs, but with less than 24 hours before a self-imposed deadline, there is still no news of a deal.


After complaints from residents, this tree in Reading, Pa., is being replaced.

Ugly Christmas Tree Will Be Replaced In Pennsylvania Town

Unlike Charlie Brown, the residents of Reading didn’t see beauty in a 50-foot spruce with few branches and an unseemly shape.


Washington, D.C., Councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry was famously re-elected after going to jail for crack cocaine possession, but started out as a champion for the city's disenfranchised.

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Dies

The fiery Washington, D.C., politician who was famously re-elected after going to jail for crack cocaine possession, has died after months of battling a number of health issues. He was 78.


Ferguson Grand Jury Will Reportedly Meet Again Monday

A community is holding its breath, awaiting a decision on whether to charge police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, 18. Brown’s family is calling for calm.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments