Monday 21 May 2012

Kony will be brought to justice – AFRICOM: But why did you take all that long and why now????


First Read:

Obama sends 100 US troops to Uganda to fight LRA: It is not what you think!!!

AFRICOM Year Two:Seizing The Helm Of Africa


Kony will be brought to justice – AFRICOM

Publish Date: May 21, 2012

By Henry Mukasa
The Commander of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) Gen. Carter F. Ham has stated that he is confident the Lord's Resistance Army chief, Joseph Kony will be brought to justice.

"I am confident Joseph Kony (LRA leader) will be brought to justice. I am not confident when it will happen,' Gen Ham remarked in an interview with New Vision.

'It is looking for a small group in a vast rugged area. The capture of Acellam is a good step. The questions that will be asked Acellam will help the forces learn about the status of LRA,' he pointed out. The US has contributed 100 special forces to help UPDF and other regional forces in the hunt for Kony.

The LRA field commander, Maj. Gen Caesar Acellam was captured recently by the UPDF on the banks of the River Mbou in the Central African Republic.

In the interview, Gen. Ham saluted the UPDF for the successes in efforts to stabilise Somalia and ridding Mogadishu of the Al Shabaab militants.

'There is no question that from a security point of view Somalia has improved. The Uganda people should be proud of the professionalism of the soldiers in Mogadishu,' Gen. Ham said .

"Uganda has provided the AMISOM force commander and the largest number of troops. They have been effective and brave. Sadly there were casualties who and their families should not be forgotten," he added.

Gen. Ham, who heads heads the US African Command based in Stuttgart - Germany was in the country to attend the conference of Land Forces Commanders of Africa that closed at Munyonyo on Friday.

On the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, Gen. Ham insisted that the best way out is a negotiated settlement.

"There is no military solution to the conflict between the two. The US has sent a special envoy to seek opportunity for a peaceful solution. The challenge to the two nations is whether their actions match their words,' Gen. Ham explained. 

We don’t know where Kony is- US commander

By Tabu Butagira  

Posted  Sunday, May 20  2012 at  00:00

A week after the UPDF took into custody LRA field commander Caesar Acellam, believed to know the whereabouts of Joseph Kony, a top general of the US military
that is helping regional forces collate intelligence for the offensive against the rebel group, has revealed that they still have no clue about the location of one of the world’s most-wanted warlords.

“No, we don’t know where specifically he is,” Gen. Carter Ham, the US Africa Command (Africom) commander, said on Friday in response to a question from this newspaper about the likely location of Kony and the possibility of his capture.

He added: “If we did, then I am confident that all African nations that are involved in this mission would be successful in locating and bringing him to justice.”

The militaries of Uganda, South Sudan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo – with technical assistance from about 100 US Special Forces deployed at four forward operating bases in the jungles as field military advisers - are engaged in a joint operation to capture or kill LRA commanders, including Kony, ostensibly to finish off the group.

Navy SEAL Gregory, the ground commander of the US Special Forces, told a group of visiting journalists in Obo, CAR, on April 29, that it was hard for regional armies to spot the elusive rebels in the surrounding copious vegetation, although Col. Joseph Balikuddembe who commands the Ugandan military said they last engaged the rebel fighters in March.

The LRA was considered a spent force following its expulsion by the UPDF from northern Uganda in 2005, but American NGO Invisible Children thrust it back on the world agenda in March, this year, when their slick 30-minute Kony 2012 video endorsed by global heavy-weight celebrities to raise awareness for his capture went viral on the Internet.

In the Friday interview at the US embassy in Nsambya, a Kampala suburb, Gen. Ham said: “I am confident that he (Kony) will be captured and brought to justice; I am not confident as to when that will happen.”

He gave an open-ended stay of the US Navy SEALS and Green Berets, deployed in October 2011, in the central Africa jungles, until the mission to remove LRA commanders from the battle field as ordered by President Obama is accomplished.

“We believe that our role is important and is contributing to the overall success of the mission… the four African countries [on the counter-LRA effort] still want our help, he said, “So we don’t have a certain date we will conclude.”
Gen. Ham declined to say if they may call in drones for targeted strikes on LRA leaders should their location be established - a military capability the US has employed with considerable success to eliminate commanders of radical groups elsewhere.