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 People there haven’t been withdrawn.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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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