U.S. airlift support to bolster African hunt for Kony

The U.S. military is deploying four tilt-rotor transport planes to Uganda in response to African Union requests for airlift support in the hunt for the elusive leader of the violent Lord’s Resistance Army extremist group, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The U.S. Defense Department has deployed the four CV-22 Osprey, which can take off and land vertically, to Uganda from Djibouti along with tanker refueling and 150 air crew and support personnel, said Rear Admiral John Kirby, a top Pentagon spokesman.

“Airlift has been one of the consistent requirements and requests of the African Union. We are in a position now to provide that airlift for a while and we’re going to do it,” Kirby said. “This is very much in keeping with the mission goals at large.”

A 5,000-strong African Union Regional Task Force, supported by 100 U.S. Special Operations troops, has been hunting LRA warlord Joseph Kony and his fighters, most of whom are thought to be hiding in jungles straddling the borders of the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Osprey will be used to help African Union troops respond more quickly to tips on the whereabouts of Kony, whose forces are known for their extreme […]

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