News and Views
US salutes Uganda on rebel commander capture
By Henry Mukasa
The United States has commended the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) for the capture of Maj. Gen. Ceasar Acellam , a top commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels.
“I think it was a great success against human rights abuses perpetrator in the Great Lakes Region,” US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Ambassador Johnnie Carson said during a teleconference on Wednesday.
Carson observed that Acellam’s seizure is part of the continuing efforts to nab LRA leader, Joseph Kony who has led an atrocious rebellion in the region. He said the US will continue to support Uganda in efforts to stablise Somalia.
Earlier, The White House in Washington pointed out that the capture of Acellam raised hopes the net could be tightening around LRA leader Kony. Acellam, considered the LRA’s fourth-highest ranking member, was arrested on Saturday in Central Africa Republic (CAR).
“The United States congratulates the government of Uganda on the capture of one of the senior commanders of the LRA by the Ugandan military,” Jay Carney, the White House spokesman said.
“The capture… (of Acellam) 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.”
The Ugandan army is leading a US-backed African Union force tasked with capturing the LRA’s leaders, three of whom are wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Those on the wanted list include; Kony, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen.
On the possible trial of Acellam for crimes committed, the US embassy in Kampala stated: “We do not want to speculate on Acellam’s case until there are more details. But ultimately whether he is eligible for amnesty or will be prosecuted will be depend upon Uganda’s Amnesty Act and Uganda’s international obligations.”