According to the State Department, one of the top commanders in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)—described as a Protégé of Joseph Kony by the anti-genocide organization The Enough Project—has surrendered to American military forces in the Central African Republic. Dominic Ongwen was indicted by the International Criminal Court for committing crimes against humanity. In a statement, Kasper Agger, Enough Project LRA expert and Uganda-based field researcher, said,

The surrender of Ongwen is a major blow to the LRA. Ongwen has been one of Joseph Kony’s top proteges, rising in the ranks since 1990, when he was abducted as a child soldier at the age of ten. As part of the LRA’s core command, his surrender is a very significant step in the efforts to bring a final end to the LRA.

According to his indictment, Ongwen has played a major role in the LRA’s campaign of violence in the region, including the abduction and enslavement of children. Experts believe that his defection may be signaling that an on-going campaign by international forces to hunt down Joseph Kony is working. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that officials are working to confirm Ongwen’s identity, noting, “his defection would be a historic blow to the LRA’s command structure” …

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