On Wednesday, the Obama administration announced that it has placed a $5 million bounty on warlord Joseph Kony and two of his aides accused of crimes against humanity. The reward is being offered as part of the War Crimes Rewards Program which became law back in January. Kony is accused of carrying out various atrocities in his attempt to claim power in Uganda during the 1980s. Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army are believed to be responsible for the abduction of tens of thousands of children over the past thirty years.
President Obama sent 100 special forces to Uganda back in 2011 to aid in the search and capture of Kony. The International Criminal Court indicted him and his four top commanders in 2005 for crimes against humanity, including murder and rape against Ugandan civilians in his quest for power.
News of the bounty comes as the African Union suspends their search for Kony in the mountains of the Central African Republic. The countries President Francois Bozize was overthrown by rebels a week ago in a military coup. The countries new leaders are refusing to cooperate with the joint Uganda-AU mission. Ugandan army officials have offered assurances that they have no intention of leaving the country. An official in the army, Felix Kulayigye said, "The Seleka rebels have not been cooperating with us since they took over power. We have been forced to suspend operations until further notice."
Human rights organizations are fearful that the retreat of AU troops will allow Kony the foothold he needs to regain power. The U.S. based Enough Project believes that Kony’s advisors and the remaining members of the LRA live in the jungles of the Central African Republic. The YouTube video released by Invisible Children has received over 97 million views, and helped put renewed international attention on the warlord.