The troubled multinational hunt for Joseph Kony

The troubled multinational hunt for Joseph Kony

Ashley Benner and Kasper Agger report here on the multinational effort to nab Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army and ICC indictee:

Regional militaries have approximately 1,700 troops deployed in a densely forested area the size of Arizona that lacks roads and infrastructure. The Congolese army is planning to transfer its U.S.-trained battalion from LRA-affected areas to eastern Congo in order to combat the M23 rebellion. Meanwhile, Uganda’s commitment to ending the LRA appears likely to wane in the coming months. With the current force strength and the probable drawdown, how can the national militaries effectively search for LRA leader Joseph Kony and his senior leadership, and protect civilians?

The African Union envisions a Regional Task Force of 5,000 troops to fight the LRA and protect local communities. But the countries involved – Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic – appear unwilling to provide additional soldiers.

Their evaluation of the effort meshes with recent UN and African Union reports.  Benner and Agger argue that the United States needs to provide additional air and intelligence resources and, as important, deploy its diplomats to corral additional African forces.