Two women claiming to have been married to the wanted leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Joseph Kony, have been arrested South Sudan.
The women, all believed to be Congolese nationals, were found moving with a child whom they said was fathered by the LRA leader. Arrow Boys, a local militia group patrolling the area in Tombura County at the South Sudan border with the Central African Republic, captured the duo on Wednesday last week.
The two, Mibinina Kumboringi and Mingere Nagbakpio with their child named Joseph Opio, said they had come in search of food for their forces.
The acting governor of Western Equatoria State Sapana Abui said the two ladies said they underwent many challenges while in the bush with Kony, adding that they travelled as far as Darfur where Kony has another home.
According to Abui, the women reported that in the last six years they have been wandering in the thick bush of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Sudan.
They also claimed the Janjaweed militia operating in Darfur and reportedly backed by the Khartoum government also helped them with food and clothing.
Mibinina Kumboringi, one of the women said Kony’s men captured her six years ago in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kumboringi said when captured by LRA, one is forced to know how to speak Acholi dialect so that they understand instructions easily.
Mingere Nagbakpio on her part says Opio is not her own child but was given to her by Kony after reportedly killing the real mother last year. She said in the bush, they rely on wild yams and meat.
According to Nagbakpio, Kony has a big home in Darfur and in the Central Africa Republic where he was last week.
Nagbakpio revealed that in case of any mistake while in captivity, a person is both beaten and abandoned or sometimes beaten to death. The training according to her is only for brutal killing of people.
She also said they suffered a lot as they walked thousands of miles without complaints and if one complained he or she was immediately killed.
The Acting governor says the state government will inform the Red Cross to see how they could be re-united with their families or transferred to Uganda.
But when contacted, Lt. Mark Mutono, the UPDF spokesperson for West Nile said they are still trying to establish whether the captured women are real wives of LRA leader Joseph Kony.
In 2005, after almost 20 years of fighting, Kony and his fighters relocated to the vast area between Congo, Sudan and the Central African Republic. He and his top commanders are still wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to answer charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.