The White House last Monday hailed the capture of one of warlord Joseph Kony's top commanders, in the hope that the arrest could be a giant step on the road towards catching or killing the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader himself.
President Obama last year ordered the deployment of 100 elite American troops to help a multinational force led by Uganda; capture Kony, whose global fame exploded earlier this year with the viral video "Kony 2012, that aims to “make Kony famous and galvanise enough support that will to his capture of death”: "Ugandan and other regional forces continue to pursue the LRA and keep its leadership on the run," Carney said.
"The United States joins regional governments and the African Union in calling on abductees and remaining members of the LRA to depart the ranks of the LRA and peacefully surrender. Support is available to help those who defect and peacefully surrender to return to their home communities and build a new life."
"While the capture of Acellam is an important step forward, the LRA continues to pose a deadly threat to civilians," Carney said. "The United States is committed to supporting the people and governments of the region in their collective efforts, in coordination with the African Union and United Nations, to protect civilians and end this conflict,” he added.
Acellam who was recently paraded before journalists was allegedly “captured” without any fire-fight last Saturday near the Congo-Central African Republic border.
The LRA chief was with his wife Gladys Adongo, their two year old daughter and their babysitter Fatuma Acii. On his person were an AK47 assault rifle and eight rounds of ammunition.
Contention remains on whether Achellam was captured or he surrendered willingly. While the UPDF says he was captured in an ambush, Acellam himself says that he surrendered to the UPDF and that he only crossed over from his operation area in DR Congo into the Central African Republic for that purpose.
Over the years, the LRA has lost senior commanders like Brigadiers Kenneth Banya, Sam Kolo, Onen Kamdulu and Thomas Kwoyelo, all of whom were also “captured.”
Acellam was a confidant to the late General Vincent Otti, who was Kony’s immediate deputy, and was allegedly killed on Kony’s orders in an environment of intrigue that surrounded the Juba Peace talks in 2006 between the government of President Yoweri Museveni and the LRA.
The LRA chief, who walks with a limp said that he sustained an injury on the hip in the battlefield in 2005.
Meanwhile, Acellam’s family in Lataya village, Punena Parish in Bungatira Sub-county have called on the government not to hurt or kill him.
“The government should help my son, however weak he is so that he comes and buries me. This will also give both of us the chance to see one another,” pleaded 90-year-old Lucia Alal, the mother of Acellam.
The family say that Acellam who until his capture had been in the bush for 24 years, was “captured” by the LRA as he harvested food from a nearby garden. He was said to be a senior six student at Gulu Secondary School.
According to his sister, Pamela Anyeko, after that they never heard from Acellam until 1994 when he participated in the Betty Bigombe “peace talks”, he was already in the ranks of the LRA and was designated peace envoy.
When the talks were scuttled, they scattered and later met again during the Juba Peace talks when they were ferried to Garamba in the Democratic Republic of Congo to meet with them. Anyeko says that, Acellam revealed to the family then; his desire to come home. By A Web design Company
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