NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United States is looking for ways to ensure the hunt for wanted warlord Joseph Kony continues in Central African Republic despite a change in leadership in the country that has forced the search to be suspended, a State Department official said Thursday.
The U.S. announced a new $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a small but brutal band of warriors who abduct children and adults as fighters and sexual slaves.
There are 100 U.S. special forces helping advise African forces across Central African Republic, South Sudan, Congo and Uganda. But rebels in CAR deposed the president and took the capital, Bangui, more than a week ago, and African and U.S. efforts to hunt Kony there have since been put on pause.
Stephen J. Rapp, an ambassador-at-large for the State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice, sounded optimistic that an agreement could be reached to allow the hunt to continue. Rapp said the rebels in the new government also don’t want to see Kony in their country and are looking to eliminate the threat Kony brings “within the next six months.”
“So I think we’re going to have the potential for support for operations there,” he said in a telephone conference with reporters. “Operations there have been paused. People there haven’t been withdrawn. Work will go on to make sure that operations can go on. It’s in the interest of the CAR and in the interest of all the people in the region.”
Because the rebels in Central African Republic took power by force, kicking the president out of the capital, the U.S. has restrictions on the cooperation and activities it can carry out with the new leadership. The African Union has voted not to recognize the rebels as the leaders of the country.
Rapp suggested that maybe Ugandan and U.S. forces in CAR will be able to work with local police, “but we’ll see. It’s all the more important that negotiations … succeed. On this issue I think there’s broad common ground. Everyone wants to see the end of the threat of Joseph Kony.”
Along with the reward for Kony, the Obama administration announced up to $5 million in rewards for two of Kony’s top aides and for a Rwandan rebel leader suspected of crimes against humanity.
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Kony in 2005 for his brutal campaign that originated in Uganda in the 1980s. He became better known in the U.S. after the release in March 2012 of a video called “Kony 2012” by the charity Invisible Children. The video became an internet sensation, being viewed by more than 100 million people.
The rewards are being offered by the State Department under a provision in the War Crimes Rewards Program authored by Secretary of State John Kerry when he was a senator and signed into law by President Barack Obama in January.
Rapp said the reward could discourage others from engaging in brutal acts. He said they remind wanted criminals that “the world will continue to look for you.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/7-10/14)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
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2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
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3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
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4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
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5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
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6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
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7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
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8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
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9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
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10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
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11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
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12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
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13. Moms got my back
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14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
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15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
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16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
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17. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
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18. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
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19. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
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20. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
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21. Goodnight - here's a song
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22. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
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23. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
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24. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
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25. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
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