- The number of fighters in Kony’s forces have dropped from nearly 2,000 to under 100
- Outside groups warn that with Kony free, the risk to the region remains
(CNN)America’s role in the hunt for Lord Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony has officially begun to draw to a close, even though the notorious warlord is still on the loose.
Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and he and his militia have been accused of killing thousands of civilians and abducting thousands of children during his decades-long insurgency in Uganda and neighboring countries.
Approximately 100 combat-ready US troops have aided the effort since the US-backed mission to capture Kony first began in 2011, at a cost to the US of about $780 million, Pentagon spokeswoman Maj. Audricia Harris told CNN Monday.
The US began the transition last week, a US defense official told CNN, and it’s due to be completed by September. A team of elite US troops recently pulled out of Camp Dungu, a remote outpost in the Northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that was also once an area of operations for Kony’s insurgency.
According to Africa Command, which oversees American military operations on the continent, the US forces involved in the counter operation against the Lord’s Resistance Army will now “transition to broader-scope security and stability activities that continue the success of our African partners.”