Conflict & Justice

African Union force to hunt Joseph Kony


A screen grab from Invisible Children's "Kony 2012" viral video campaign. The campaign has drawn a flurry of media coverage, controversy and criticism. It has also triggered more so-called "clicktivism" in Africa, including the M23 rebellion in Congo.

The African Union is today launching a new military force to hunt down warlord Joseph Kony.

Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, stands accused of kidnapping children to use as soldiers and sex slaves, and is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. He gained new infamy recently after the "Kony 2012" video by the California-based group Invisible Children went viral.

Reuters reported that the 5,000-strong AU force will be led by Uganda and include soldiers from that country as well as South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic.

More from GlobalPost: Kony 2012 flops in Uganda

The mission will be based in the South Sudan city of Yambio, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.

The AU's special envoy for the LRA, Francisco Madeira, told reporters in Entebbe that the force would be deployed in jungle areas, and would continue its work until Kony is caught or killed.

“We’re on a mission,” Madeira said, according to The New York Times. “We need to stop Kony.”

Ugandan-born Kony and the LRA have roamed a vast area of central Africa for more than 20 years. The group was ejected from Uganda in 2005, and has since dwindled in size, the BBC said.

Kony is currently thought to be in the Central African Republic. 

More from GlobalPost: Kony 2012's Jason Russell detained for masturbating in public

More from GlobalPost: Kony 2012: Uganda's prime minister makes a YouTube rebuttal