The United States has called off a decade long mission to capture and kill Joseph Kony. Kony is one of Africa’s most notorious warlords and the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The LRA has gained notoriety for their brutal tactics.
Kony who since 2005 has been wanted by the International Criminal Court and his fighters have perpetrated human rights violations for more than three decades. The group has killed more than 100,000 people and displaced more than two million people. Between 1987 to 2006, the LRA abducted more than 20,000 children who have been used as soldiers, sex slaves and servants.
Although Kony remains at large, military operations coupled with strong efforts by civilian agencies and non-governmental organisations have led to defections and the capture of LRA leaders. Kony’s fighting force has over the years reduced from to about 100 soldiers from a peak of 3000. With the clear decrease in the strength of the LRA, Kony is no longer perceived as a threat the US and Uganda.
A member of Donald Trump’s transition team is reported to have stated that the fact that Kony has never attacked US interests and Uganda no longer views him as a threat means that the US should no longer view him as a threat either.
According to an article in the Washington Post, some analysts and advocacy groups are worried that the withdrawal of US and Ugandan troops will leave a power vacuum. For some, although the LRA has been weakened, they have not been defeated. It is therefore wrong to remain comfortable in the perception that the group does not pose a threat. Although withdrawing troops, the U.S will however continue to train militaries in Central Africa. This signals that the US is aware of the potential negative effects of leaving a large vacuum.
Featured image | Joseph Kony: Creative Commons
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.
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