The United Nations (UN) has confirmed a decision by Ugandan rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), operating in the east of Central African Republic, to lay down weapons.
“The UN has been effectively informed that some of the LRA fighters have agreed to end fighting. We are impressed by the actions of over 1,200 LRA fighters who have defected,” according to a UN statement issued here on Sunday.
The UN is organizing a mission on the ground in collaboration with the Central African Republic authorities between Monday and Tuesday.
The UN statement said the mission comprises a brigade from the UN Integrated Bureau for Peace Consolidation in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) led by Senegalese general Babacar Gueye will head to Nzako locality, where LRA fighters have started handing over their weapons to the authorities.
Commenting on the same issue, the spokesman for the presidency, Guy Simplice Kodegue, said the mission’s objective will be to evaluate what to be done to take care of the former fighters, who also include women and children.
Classified among the terrorist groups by the U.S., the LRA operates in four countries including Uganda, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and South Sudan.
Its leader Joseph Kony and some of his close confidants are being sought after by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for genocide and crimes against humanity.
The group has been accused of committing some of the most heinous crimes against peoples of the four countries.
The UN and the African Union put together a joint mission to fight the rebels and the U.S. has also sent a team of 100 officers to support the operation to track down the rebel leaders.
Additional Reporting By Agencies