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Story Publication logo April 18, 2012

Central African Republic: The Hunt for Joseph Kony

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Last July South Sudan became the world's youngest country. It was a remarkable victory for a dogged...

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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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