The Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) has been hunting Joseph Kony, the rebel leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) for nearly 25 years. It’s estimated that the LRA has killed more than 70,000 civilians and kidnapped approximately 40,000 children across four African countries. Today the search focuses on the Central African Republic. Image by Trevor Snapp. Central African Republic, 2012.
“He can always hide, but he can’t disappear completely,” Col. Joseph Balikuddembe, commander of Operation Lightning Thunder, told Newsweek’s Scott Johnson. “His days are numbered.” Here Balikuddembe travels on an air force helicopter to a remote operating base in the Central African Republic. Image by Trevor Snapp. Central African Republic, 2012.
Thirty-two UPDF soldiers travel through the Vovodo River in the Central African Republic searching for any sign of the LRA. Earlier this year, a different UPDF squad had killed an LRA soldier and captured another in the area. Image by Trevor Snapp. Central African Republic, 2012.
A UPDF soldier comes across a fire that has been extinguished in the Central African Republic bush, evidence that a LRA presence was in the area. Image by Trevor Snapp. Central African Republic, 2012.
A UPDF squad continues their search for Kony and the LRA in the Central African Republic. Survival in the bush is harsh and LRA rebels often resort to hunting antelope, wild boar and buffalo. Image by Trevor Snapp. Central African Republic, 2012.
A helicopter lands at a remote base in the Central African Republic, blurring the visibility in a swirl of dust. Image by Trevor Snapp. Central African Republic, 2012.
Col. Dick Prit Olum of the Ugandan African Union forces, shown here in South Sudan, commands 5,000 troops who are aiming to capture or kill Joseph Kony. His soldiers come from the armies of South Sudan, Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Image by Trevor Snapp. South Sudan, 2012.
In South Sudan local civilians nicknamed “arrow boys” have been fighting back against the LRA incursions. In June 2011, the LRA abducted a boy and girl in Kidi. A local farmer learned about the incident and formed a small group of amateur soldiers who tracked the LRA, killed two of their men, and rescued the two kidnapped children. Image by Trevor Snapp. South Sudan, 2012.
Armed with arrows, guns, and some AK-47s, South Sudan’s “arrow boys” have successfully pushed back the LRA in some instances. Image by Trevor Snapp. South Sudan, 2012.
A U.N. truck drives along a road between Ezo and Yambio in South Sudan. Many roads in the area are dangerous at times due to the threat of an attack by the LRA. Image by Trevor Snapp. South Sudan, 2012.
The U.N.'s refugee agency runs a settlement in Ezo, South Sudan, for people who have fled violence caused by the LRA in Central African Republic. Image by Trevor Snapp. South Sudan, 2012.
Children attend school in Ezo, a border town in South Sudan, close to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. Despite the fact that the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the UPDF have troops in town, several children have still been abducted in the last two years. Image by Trevor Snapp. South Sudan, 2012.
Playing music provides a respite for two boys in a cathedral located between Ezo and Yambio in South Sudan. Image by Trevor Snapp. South Sudan, 2012.
Foster Mborigie Mizeredi, 8, was abducted by the LRA when he was 7 and forced to beat a man to death with a club. The man was murdered because he spoke Azande instead of Kony’s native language of Acholi. “All of us participated,” said Mizeredi. “I also had to beat him.” He eventually escaped but had to leave his sister behind, who was a sex slave for an LRA commander. Miseredi now lives with a host family as he doesn’t know where his parents are. Here, he sits outside a small house he built for himself. Image by Trevor Snapp. South Sudan, 2012.
Residents in Ezo carry water while a South Sudan soldier keeps watch. Image by Trevor Snapp. South Sudan, 2012.

The Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) has been hunting Joseph Kony, the rebel leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) for nearly 25 years. It’s estimated that the LRA has killed more than 70,000 civilians and kidnapped approximately 40,000 children across four countries. Kony and his commanders have forced abducted children to murder their own families and have cut off the lips, noses and ears of their victims. In 2005, the International Criminal Court indicted Kony and two of his senior LRA commanders on charges of crimes against humanity. The UNDP’s effort has recently received funding from the Obama administration assistance from U.S. Special Forces. A documentary video produced by the NGO Invisible Children recently gave the issue international attention. Today the search, known as Operation Lighting Thunder, focuses on the Central African Republic.

Trevor's slideshow accompanied a Newsweek Article by Scott Johnson. Below is an excerpt of the article:

Maj. Richard Kidega threaded his way through a thicket of sweet black trees and thorny underbrush when suddenly he drew to a halt. A young Ugandan soldier in front had raised a clenched fist: the sign to stop. With their AK-47s raised, Kidega and his men silently scanned the jungle for any signs of the enemy, such as fresh tracks or trampled brush. Hanging vines clogged the path. Dry leaves masked deep holes. The gully was an attractive place for an ambush. “It’s places just like this where the LRA likes to hide,” Kidega whispered, as the hunt for Joseph Kony, rebel leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, slowly moved ahead.

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An immersive, transmedia book project for the iPad on the birth of the world's newest country from photographer Trevor Snapp and reporter Alan Boswell.

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