The Ugandan army has captured a top commander of the Joseph Kony-led Lord’s Resistance Army, although Kony himself remains elusive, The Wall Street Journal reports.Caesar Achellam, a major-general in the LRA and one of Kony’s main military strategists was ambushed in the jungles of the Central African Republic by U.S.-backed Ugandan troops Saturday, as he attempted to cross into the Democratic Republic of Congo over the Mbou river, a Ugandan army spokesman said. The army also detained his wife, daughter, a helper, and 30 rebels, but at least a dozen fighters escaped the ambush.
“My coming out will have a big impact for the people still in the bush to come out and end this war soon,” Achellam told reporters, according to the BBC.
This was echoed by army spokesperson Col. Felix Kulayigye. “His capture is definitely going to cause an opinion shift within LRA,” he said, AllAfrica.com reports.
Achellam is believed to have been the LRA No. 3 after Kony and Okot Odhiambo. However, unlike Kony and five other commanders, who are wanted by the International Criminal Court for rape, mutilation and murder of civilians, as well as forcibly recruiting children to serve as soldiers and sex slaves, Achellam is not on the ICC wanted list.
Since the mid-1980s, LRA fighters, numbering anywhere from 200 to 500 and originally from Uganda, have been on the run through Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic, killing tens of thousands of civilians and abducting more than 20,000 children. At least 100 U.S. military advisers are in Central Africa to help Uganda capture Kony, who was thrust into the public spotlight recently with Invisible Children’s “KONY 2012” video, viewed more than 89 million times on YouTube, according to CNN.
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