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

Nebraska Governor Vetoes Bill That Repealed Death Penalty

The move sets up a showdown Wednesday with lawmakers in the state’s unicameral legislature. A close vote is expected as lawmakers try to override the veto.


Heat Wave Claims More Than 750 Lives In India

Most of the deaths have occurred in southern Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states. But high temperatures persist across much of the country of 1 billion people.


Hackers Stole Data From More Than 100,000 Taxpayers, IRS Says

The thieves used the data to file fraudulent tax returns. The IRS commissioner said less than $50 million had been successfully claimed from the agency.


Photographer Mary Ellen Mark attends the Leica Los Angeles grand opening on June 20, 2013. Mark died Monday. She was 75.

Photographer Mary Ellen Mark Dies At 75

The influential photographer was known mostly for her humanist work.


Prolific Fantasy And Science-Fiction Writer Tanith Lee Has Died

Lee wrote dozens of books, including Don’t Bite The Sun and Death’s Master — the latter of which was part of her popular Flat Earth series. She was 67.


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
Underwriting Payments