Uganda has captured one of the top rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), bringing it a step closer to catching Joseph Kony, the LRA leader accused of war crimes, the military said yesterday.
The Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) said Caesar Achellam, a major-general in Kony's outfit of about 200 fighters, had been captured in an ambush on Saturday along the banks of the River Mbou in the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR). They said Achellam had been armed with just an AK-47 rifle and eight rounds of ammunition. He was being held with his wife, a young daughter and a helper.
The army, which has a force hunting for Kony full-time in the jungles of CAR, backed by American troops, said the capture of Achellam would encourage other fighters to abandon the LRA. "His arrest is big progress because he is a big fish. His capture will cause an opinion shift within LRA," Felix Kulaigye, a UPDF spokesman, said.
Kony, a self-styled mystic leader who at one time wanted to rule Uganda according to the biblical Ten Commandments, fled northern Uganda in 2005, roaming South Sudan, then the isolated north-eastern tip of Congo. In 2008, Uganda pushed the rebels north into CAR.