These are the top four Lord’s Resistance Army leaders captured or killed since 2011

Posted October 4, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Featured ~ 3,921 views


By Thomas Gibbons-Neff, The Washington Post ~ As the U.S.-backed operation to find Joseph Kony, the elusive leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), enters its fifth year, here is a look back on some of Kony’s top commanders that have been captured or killed since 2011.


For those unfamiliar, the LRA has been active since 1986, making it “one of Africa’s oldest, most violent, and persistent armed groups,” according to a profile on the U.S. State Department’s website. The LRA until 2006 operated in Uganda, where after a brutal conflict that displaced more than 2 million people, it retreated into the border regions between the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan (now South Sudan). According to a 2006 UNICEF report, between 1986 and 2005 the LRA abducted more than 66,000 children. While most were released shortly after capture, some were forced into becoming child soldiers or sex slaves.

Currently, the LRA has been reduced to a little more than 200 soldiers after years of defections and military operations have riddled its ranks. In 2011, U.S. forces began assisting Ugandan troops to find the remainder of Kony’s forces.

To date, these are the top commanders that have been captured or killed since then.

1) Lt. Col. Binansio “Binany” Okumu: Reported to be head of Kony’s operation in the Congo and responsible for ivory smuggling, Okumu was killed after an engagement with the Ugandans in 2013.

2) Maj. Gen. Ceasar Achellam: In 2012, Ugandan forces captured Achellam in the Central African Republic. According to the advocacy group Invisible Children, he was one of Kony’s two sub-commanders and had formal military training. His ability to speak Arabic also made him a key liaison between the LRA and the Sudanese government.


3) Maj. Gen. Okot Odhiambo: The body of Kony’s number two was supposedly recovered earlier this year, although DNA tests were required (and still pending) to verify the identity of a body that had been buried in 2014. It is not the first time a LRA leader was thought dead. In 2006, Brig. Gen. Dominique Ongwen was thought to have been found dead, but DNA tests proved the body was not his. Instead, Ongwen was captured eight years later.

4) Brig. Gen Dominic Ongwen: After getting a $5 million bounty slapped on his head by the United States in 2013, Ongwen was picked up by Seleka rebels in northern CAR and handed over to U.S. troops in January. According to the BBC, Ongwen was abducted by the LRA when he was 10 and was forced to fight. He rose quickly through the ranks, earning the rank of major at 18 years old. He was the youngest person ever to be indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2005, according to the BBC.


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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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