The government of Central African Republic (CAR) says it is in talks with Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony with the aim of his surrender.
Kony, who has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, waged a brutal guerrilla war against the Ugandan government in the north of the country for nearly two decades before fleeing with his fighters into the jungles of central Africa around 2005.
A CAR government spokesman told international media that Kony was in the country but wanted his security to be guaranteed before giving himself up.
This news comes a day after the African Union’s special envoy on the LRA, Francisco Madeira, told the UN Security Council he had seen reports that Kony was suffering from a “serious, uncharacterized illness”.
Madeira and the head of the U.N. Regional Office for Central Africa, Abou Moussa, who also briefed the council, said that Michel Djotodia, interim president of the virtually lawless Central African Republic, told them he had contacted Kony.
A 5,000-strong African Union Regional Task Force, supported by about 100 U.S. Special Forces, has been hunting Kony and his fighters. Most of them are thought to be hiding in jungles straddling the borders of Central African Republic, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.