African Union launches US-backed force to hunt Kony

By REUTERS
March 24, 2012 17:27

 
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JUBA - The African Union (AU), backed by the United States, has put together a 5,000-strong military force to hunt down fugitive warlord Joseph Kony, whose profile has shot up following a celebrity-backed campaign against him.

Kony, accused of terrorising northern Uganda for two decades, is wanted by the International Criminal court for war crimes. He is accused of leading a group that abducted children to use as fighters and sex slaves and hacked off living victims' limbs as a method of intimidation and revenge.

A video about Kony posted on YouTube by a California film-maker has been viewed by tens of millions of people, promoted on Twitter with the hashtag #Kony2012 and endorsed by major Hollywood celebrities.

The AU force aims to coordinate soldiers already hunting for Kony from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR) and Uganda with logistical and intelligence help from Washington.

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