New York Times | Body of a LRA Rebel Commander Is Identified in Uganda — Okot Odhiambo

Posted April 9, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in LRA & KONY ~ 4,721 views


Ugandan troops in March exhumed remains identified Monday as those of the No. 2 commander of the Lord's Resistance Army.

Ugandan troops in March exhumed remains identified Monday as those of the No. 2 commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

By RICK GLADSTONE — The bullet-scarred remains of the No. 2 commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, the guerrilla group that once terrorized central Africa, have been positively identified after having been exhumed last month in a Uganda-led military expedition, a person involved in the recovery operation said Monday.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement from Uganda, said forensics experts were still completing DNA confirmation on the remains of the commander, Okot Odhiambo, one of five Lord’s Resistance Army soldiers, including its leader, Joseph Kony, wanted for the past decade by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The person said there was no doubt, based on other evidence, that the remains were those of Mr. Odhiambo.

Rumors of his death have circulated for years and last came up in October 2013, when he was thought to have been critically wounded in an ambush by Ugandan soldiers patrolling the Central African Republic. With the substantiation of Mr. Odhiambo’s death — plus the already confirmed deaths of two other L.R.A. defendants and the surrender of a fourth in January — only Mr. Kony, a warlord and self-described prophet, remains at large.

Ugandan military officials were not available to comment on Mr. Odhiambo’s death. A spokesman for the International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, did not immediately return telephone and email messages.

Tipped off about Mr. Odhiambo’s possible remains, a team from the Uganda People’s Defense Forces went to a grave site in January in the Central African Republic’s southeast, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, a longtime domain of the L.R.A.

The Ugandan military team was assisted by advisers from the American military and the Bridgeway Foundation, a Houston-based charity that has contributed to the hunt for Mr. Kony and his disciples. They found a decomposing body with a bullet wound to the stomach, people involved in the recovery operation said.

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