African Union mission to hunt for rebel leader Kony

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African Union mission to hunt for rebel leader Kony

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The African Union is to launch a new mission beginning this weekend to hunt Joseph Kony – the Ugandan rebel leader wanted for war crimes whose notoriety has been boosted by a video campaign that’s become a huge internet hit.

Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army has forced many children to become soldiers and sex slaves.

Five thousand African Union troops will join the search which the AU and UN say will continue until he is caught.

“The mission we have is to stop Mr Kony from bringing more suffering to the people of the affected areas,” said Francisco Caetano Madeira, the African Union’s special envoy on the LRA.

The Lord’s Resistance Army no longer operates in Uganda but does in neighbouring countries. Wanted by the International Criminal Court, Kony himself is believed to be hiding in the Central African Republic.

Kony 2012, the video produced by US-based charity Invisible Children has been viewed more than 100 million times.

The UN says it has been very important in creating awareness, but it has been criticised in some quarters as exploitative and patronising.