Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

Uganda displays captive Kony lieutenant

Ceasar Achellam, considered the fourth-highest ranking member of the LRA, was arrested by Ugandan forces.

Story highlights

  • Achellam was captured with his wife, child and a 12-year-old Central African girl
  • Caesar Achellam was captured in the Central African Republic, Uganda says
  • "This is a big fish," a Ugandan military spokesman says
  • Achellam is a top lieutenant to wanted LRA chieftain Joseph Kony

Uganda says it has captured a top commander of the Lord's Resistance Army, the guerrilla movement notorious for its attacks on civilians and use of child soldiers.

Ugandan commanders displayed Caesar Achellam to reporters after his capture in what they said was a weekend raid in the Central African Republic. The CAR is one of several African Union countries that has committed troops to hunt down LRA chieftain Joseph Kony, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

"This is a big fish," said Col. Felix Kulayigye, a Ugandan military spokesman. "For Caesar to be in our hands it is a big statement, as far as our efforts to end this rebellion."

Achellam told reporters he hoped his capture would lead "my people remaining in the brush" to give up, "so that sooner maybe the war would come to an end."

Radhika Coomaraswamy, U.N. special representative for Children and Armed Conflict, called on Ugandan authorities Monday to "not apply amnesty but instead, bring him (Achellam) to justice."

"The arrest and subsequent prosecution of Achellam would send a strong message to the LRA leadership that they will be held accountable for their actions," Coomaraswamy said.

    Achellam was captured with his wife, child and a 12-year-old girl from the Central African Republic, according to the U.N.

    Achellam and his family are in Ugandan custody in South Sudan. The unidentified girl remains in the Central African Republic. It's unknown why she was with Achellam, the U.N. said.

    Kony led a failed uprising against the government of Uganda and was pushed out of Uganda in 2006. He has been moving around other countries in the region ever since.

      Just Watched

      The hunt for Joseph Kony

    The hunt for Joseph Kony 04:17
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      The 'Kony 2012' phenomenon

    The 'Kony 2012' phenomenon 02:41
    PLAY VIDEO

      Just Watched

      Villagers in Uganda watch 'Kony 2012'

    Villagers in Uganda watch 'Kony 2012' 01:47
    PLAY VIDEO

    Abou Moussa, a special U.N. envoy for central Africa, told CNN in March that Kony may be in the Central African Republic with between 200 and 700 remaining troops.

    Kony is accused of using vicious tactics to recruit children to use them as soldiers and sex slaves and of slicing off ears, noses and limbs of his victims. There are reports of child soldiers brainwashed into killing their own parents.

    A celebrity-backed video that went viral earlier this year helped make Kony's alleged crimes more widely known. The half-hour documentary "KONY 2012" was viewed more than 89 million times on YouTube, but the video also spurred a flurry of questions about its producers' intentions, their transparency and whether the social-media frenzy was too little, too late.

      CNN recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.