- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2013

U.S. special forces and African troops have suspended their hunt for war-crimes suspect Joseph Kony even as the Obama administration announced a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

U.S. and Ugandan officials confirmed that military operations in the Central African Republic, where Kony is thought to be hiding, were put on hold after Seleka rebels overran the country, ousted President Francois Bozize and took over the capital, Bangui.

The U.S. and its partners are committed to the hunt for Kony “even though we’ve taken a pause because of the developments in Bangui and how the situation there is unfolding,” Don Yamamoto, acting assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said Wednesday.

“We’re going to use all facilities and all technology at our hands to try to find and locate Kony and his group,” he added.

Kony heads the Lord’s Resistance Army, which originated in northern Uganda and has spread its operations across central Africa, including South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The group is notorious for massacring civilians and using child soldiers.

The LRA seeks to overthrow the Ugandan government and rule the country with the Ten Commandments.

Also Wednesday, the Obama administration announced a $5 million reward for information that leads to the arrest of Kony and two other LRA leaders.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry “will offer up to $5 million for information leading to the arrests, the transfer, or conviction of three top leaders of the LRA, the Lord’s Resistance Army: Joseph Kony, Okot Odhiambo, and Dominic Ongwen, as well as the leader of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, known as the FDLR, Sylvestre Mudacumura,” said Stephen Rapp, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues.

The International Criminal Court has already issued arrest warrants for Kony and other top LRA leaders on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Last year, Kony was the subject of a campaign, “Kony 2012,” that sought to create awareness about him and help bring him to international war-crimes tribunals.

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