Major General Caesar Acellam Otto, one of the highest-ranking members of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has been captured by Ugandan security forces who then flew him to the headquarters of forces fighting the LRA in South Sudan.
Independent Online (IOL) and other news sources say Acellam was captured after a clash between the Ugandan Army and the LRA in what the Huffington Post said was an “intelligence coup”.
Lieutenant Colonel Abdul Rugumayo of the Ugandan Army said Acellam had been captured with two to other LRA terrorists at a river crossing, apparently in South Sudan. Rugumayo said:
"He is in good condition. He was captured with two other rebels. They were in a group of 30 rebels."
The other LRA rebels, however, escaped.
Uganda Picks says, however, that Acellam was captured with his wife, daughter and a “helper”.
The US has welcomed the capture. White House spokesman Jay Carney said:
“The United States congratulates the government of Uganda on the capture of one of the senior commanders of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) by the Ugandan military.
“The capture... is a testament to the resolve of Uganda and its military forces to work with regional forces to end the threat posed by the LRA.”
Apparently the US has not commented on the role played in the capture by its own Army Special Forces, or “Green Berets”, who have been training Ugandan soldiers in counter-insurgency methods. The US soldiers were sent to Uganda after the video by Invisible Children, “Kony 2012” went viral on the Internet.
The Ugandan Army is leading the effort to capture the leader of the LRA, Joseph Kony, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for serious human rights violations, including kidnapping, sex slavery mutilation and related crimes.
The LRA, currently numbering at around 200, started two decades ago as an uprising against the Ugandan government, but have since moved around several neighbouring countries, including the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
US President Barack Obama authorised the deployment of the Green Berets last year.