While media attention on the Democratic Republic of Congo has been focused on North Kivu and the uprising led by renegade general Laurent Nkunda, military action against another self-proclaimed liberator has been launched in the DRC. Yesterday, the armed forces of Uganda (UPDF), DRC (FARDC) and Southern Sudan (SPLA) launched a joint attack on Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army in the Garamba forests of the DRC.
Kony is one of the worst operators in the region, noted for killing and abusing citizens and particularly for kidnapping children. He is reputed to have dozens of “wives” and to personally select sex slaves for the pleasure of his commanders. His long-running guerrilla war against Uganda is believed to have created two million refugees in the last 22 years. He and several of his underlings are wanted by the International Criminal Court for their crimes against humanity.
In a joint press release reported in Reuters, the three nations’ military intelligence chiefs said the armed forces attacked the main body of Kony’s army and destroyed its main camp, burning it to the ground.
Kony has proven adept at swift movement and cross-border raids into Sudan, Uganda, and the Central African Republic. He operates from numerous camps in the thick forests of Garamba National park near Congo’s northern border with Sudan. His tactics have continually frustrated the UN forces in Congo as well as the FARDC and no quick end is expected for the campaign to bring him to justice.