US troops synch hi-tech and nomad intel in Kony hunt

US Army special forces Captain Gregory, 29, from Texas, right, who would only give his first name in accordance with special forces security guidelines, speaks with troops from the Central African Republic and Uganda, in Obo, Central African Republic, on April 29, 2012. (AP)

By RICHARD LOUGH | REUTERS ARABNEWS

OBO, Central African Republic: In a bare concrete room in a far-flung corner of Central African Republic, US special forces and Ugandan soldiers map out the hunt for one of Africa’s most wanted rebel leaders hiding in an area the size of California.

The building belonged to the town of Obo’s doctor until he was murdered last year by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) while transporting medicines by road. Now it serves as an operational center in one of America’s latest military ventures in Africa.

The mission’s goal is clear.

“(The) focus is the removal of Joseph Kony and senior Lord’s Resistance Army leadership from the battlefield,” said Captain Ken Wright, a navy SEAL in command of the roughly 100-strong force which deployed in October.

Kony has evaded the region’s militaries for nearly three decades, kidnapping tens of thousands of children to fill his militia’s ranks and serve as sex slaves as he moves through the bush. Thousands more have died in the wake of his brutal army.

The deployment of elite American forces to help track Kony and his senior commanders in the dense equatorial jungle across a region that spans several countries has raised hopes the sadistic warlord’s days are numbered.

The troops are armed but do not patrol the surrounding forests and are allowed to engage the LRA only in self-defense.

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  1. The normal way to hunt down one man by the US forces would be to ‘carpet bomb’ the whole region with its air force. Why therefore only a 100 men team? The thoughts come up (not mine only) that this is just another game to be able to put US soldiers into the region. Not sufficient soldiers to catch the guy, but sufficient to influence the region. I met one American lady who is writing a PhD thesis on this topic.

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