KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — The head of a planned African Union force to hunt warlord Joseph Kony said on Wednesday that he can't start his task because he doesn't have troops, equipment or the necessary funding.
Ugandan Col. Dick Olum spoke to The Associated Press from Yambio, South Sudan, as AU and United Nations officials gathered in Uganda to consider regional efforts to catch Kony and dismantle his infamous Lord's Resistance Army.
"We don't yet have the force to start the mission," said Olum, whose appointment was announced in February. "The problem is logistics, facilitation and personnel."
Olum said the Kony hunt was still in the hands of some 2,000 Ugandan soldiers and 500 South Sudanese troops. The AU force, however, was meant to start operating in March with up to 5,000 troops contributed by Uganda, South Sudan, Congo and the Central African Republic — the countries affected by Kony's rebellion over the past years. The funding for the mission, meant to come from the affected states and the international community, has yet to materialize, he added.
Kony became the first suspect to be indicted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in 2005. In March, the fugitive warlord became the subject of renewed international attention after U.S. charity Invisible Children released an online video that quickly went viral aimed at raising awareness of crimes attributed to the LRA.
Uganda's Foreign Minister Okello Oryem said Wednesday's meeting of AU and U.N. officials in Uganda had been called amid fears that the LRA might take advantage of chaos in eastern Congo to regroup and wreak havoc. The officials are examining the latest intelligence on the LRA, whose members have traditionally moved freely through the region's porous borders, he said.
"This matter of the LRA could escalate and become bigger in the region," he warned. "The meeting will look into this and come up with intelligence to be shared with the Americans."
Last year President Barack Obama sent 100 troops to Central Africa to help regional governments eliminate the LRA, which is notorious for forcibly recruiting boys and girls who then become soldiers or wives for commanders. The Americans are acting as advisers and are not involved in physically tracking the rebels. Although the hunt for Kony has intensified in recent months, Ugandan officials say they lack reliable evidence of his possible whereabouts because he has stopped using electronic communication devices.
Only about 200 LRA fighters are still left in a vast swath of jungle in Central Africa, according to Ugandan army officials. The rebels are scattered in small groups in South Sudan, Congo, and the Central African Republic, where Kony himself is thought to be hiding. There is no LRA presence in Uganda where it originated in the 1980s as a rebel movement, officials say.
Olum said most of the LRA rebels are hiding in Congo, where military officials arrested a rebel lieutenant and handed him over to Ugandan authorities last month.
The Congolese government has denied Uganda permission to enter its territory in pursuit of LRA rebels.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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