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Ugandan army has LRA chief in custody

Ugandan army has LRA chief in custody


The Ugandan army said on Thursday it had taken one of the main commanders of the Lord Resistance Army(LRA) into custody.

Okot Gerge Odek, was arrested by Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic on 6 February 2015 and handed over to US special forces, working in partnership with the Ugandan Army.

“Arrangements have been made with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to bring him to Uganda very soon,” said Paddy Ankunda, spokesperson of the Ugandan army.

The LRA has been blamed for the killing of over 100,000 people and kidnapping of more than 60,000 children over 30 years across in about 5 African countries.

It was not clear if Odek, abducted as a child from northern Uganda before rising in the LRA ranks to be a lieutenant-colonel operating one of its most feared units, would face trial or be pardoned.

Over 12,000 ex-LRA fighters — mainly foot soldiers who were themselves abducted by the gunmen — have been pardoned under a government amnesty designed to encourage those still in the bush to surrender.

According to UN estimates, the LRA slaughtered more than 100,000 people and abducted 60,000 children in a bloody rebellion against Kampala that began in 1986.

Odek’s detention follows the arrest of another commander, Dominic Ongwen, in January 2015.

Ongwen however was sent to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Long driven out of Uganda, small bands of LRA fighters now roam forest regions of CAR, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and South Sudan.