FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tracy Fehr, [email protected],+1 202-459-1219
Publicizing LRA Leader Kony's Whereabouts Could Undermine Apprehension Efforts
WASHINGTON and KAMPALA, Uganda — The Enough Project questions why the Ugandan army released sensitive information yesterday about the location of Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA. Releasing information about Kony’s whereabouts could jeopardize the success of military operations aimed at apprehending him and his senior commanders.
"By publicizing where Kony is, the Ugandan army runs the risk of undermining the success of the mission to capture him and bring him to justice," said Ashley Benner, Enough Project LRA Policy Analyst. "The Ugandan government perhaps feels under pressure to show that it both knows where Kony and his senior commanders are and is actively engaged in pursuing them. However, maintaining the integrity of the operations to capture the LRA's senior leaders should be of utmost concern to the Ugandan government and the U.S. government, which deployed military advisors to advise and assist the governments in the region in ending the LRA conflict."
The Enough Project is also concerned that the Ugandan army is not deployed in all areas where the LRA operates, including in the northeastern part of the Central African Republic, where the Ugandan army stated that Kony is present. In order to apprehend Kony and other LRA commanders wanted by the International Criminal Court, the Ugandan army must be allowed access and urged to deploy into areas where the LRA is reportedly operating. If the Ugandans are not able or willing to deploy where Kony and his deputies are present, then the U.S. military advisors should be given the ability to take a more direct role in pursuing the Kony and other LRA leaders.
"Today the Ugandan army stated that they believe Kony is living in Vakaga Prefecture in the Central African Republic,” said Kasper Agger, Enough Project LRA Field Researcher based in Kampala. “This is an area where the Ugandans do not have any soldiers at the moment. In case they do know where Kony is, one would wish that they would actually go after him rather than leaking sensitive intelligence. This appears to be a premature statement from the Ugandans and the fact remains that Kony could easily have moved out of that area already."
Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.