, KAMPALA, Apr 22 – Ugandan troops have captured a fugitive Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel officer and freed 10 hostages, the army said Tuesday, after battles with the elusive jungle insurgents.
Charles Okello was captured in the southeast of the Central African Republic, army spokesman Paddy Ankunda told AFP, describing him as a field commander of the “notorious” LRA.
“Most importantly we released 10 people, seven children and three women, who had been held hostage for six months,” he told AFP.
The Ugandan army is leading a US-backed African Union force tasked with capturing the LRA’s leaders, several of whom are wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Rebel chief Joseph Kony, who launched a rebellion in Uganda two decades ago, is wanted by the ICC along with fellow top commanders on war crimes and crimes against humanity charges including murder, sexual slavery and using child soldiers.
Long driven out of Uganda, LRA fighters now roam remote forest regions of CAR, Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.