Skip to main content

Report: Joseph Kony's struggling militia killing elephants for cash

By Faith Karimi, CNN
June 5, 2013 -- Updated 1426 GMT (2226 HKT)
African warlord Joseph Kony is shown in a 2006 photo.
African warlord Joseph Kony is shown in a 2006 photo.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Report: The militia gets funds for weapons, ammunition and food
  • Africa's elephants face higher risks as demand for ivory grows in Asia
  • Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes

(CNN) -- African warlord Joseph Kony and his struggling militia are poaching elephant ivory across central Africa to get funds for weapons, ammunition and food, a report says.

Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes. He is accused of recruiting underage boys as fighters and girls as sex slaves, and is the subject of a massive manhunt aided by U.S special forces.

His militia, the Lord's Resistance Army, has been butchering elephants for years, according to a report released Tuesday by various groups, including the Enough Project and the Satellite Sentinel Project.

"Greater investments are needed to combat the LRA across central Africa," said co-author Kasper Agger, an Enough Project field researcher.

The hunt for Joseph Kony
Kony filmmaker: I went crazy
Elephants slaughtered from the sky

"Governments in Asia and elsewhere who fail to regulate the illegal ivory trade share responsibility for atrocities committed by the LRA and other armed groups engaged in poaching."

The report includes accounts by former captives, who say that the militia trades ivory with customers who land in the vast forest in helicopters.

U.S. offers $5 million for information leading to Kony

Africa's elephants are facing higher risks as demand for ivory grows in Asia.

Over the last decade, conservationists say poachers have reduced Africa's forest elephant population by 62%, threatening the magnificent mammals with eventual extinction.

Unlike decades past when poachers across the continent ran down elephants using spears, attackers are now highly organized and armed with sophisticated weapons.

In northern Cameroon, heavily armed poachers are known to swoop in on horseback in the vast forests.

The vast Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the areas mostly targeted by the militia, the report said.

Kony and his militia are wanted men.

The United States is offering $5 million for information leading to the arrest, transfer or conviction of three top leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army, including Kony.

A small number of U.S. special forces are advising and assisting regional military efforts to hunt him down.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Hamas' tactics have changed -- now the group is using commando-like tactics, says CNN's Ben Wedeman.
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
Some contend that larger weapons have come into Ukraine from Russia.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 2151 GMT (0551 HKT)
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 0021 GMT (0821 HKT)
Prince George isn't your average one year old. He started walking before he was one. Oh, and, he's going to be king -- of 16 countries.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
Former President Bill Clinton acknowledges he got "very close" to helping achieve peace in the Middle East.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0621 GMT (1421 HKT)
In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will build 100 "smart cities" across the country.
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 1127 GMT (1927 HKT)
Inspirational, creepy or just weird? CNN meets the 51-year-old man who dresses like a schoolgirl.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1100 GMT (1900 HKT)
A British nanotech company has created what it says is the world's darkest material.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1112 GMT (1912 HKT)
Yoga, meditation and watching a snake eat a frog alive: these are some of the experiences to be had at this Himalayan yoga retreat.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1152 GMT (1952 HKT)
The world's largest flying aquatic insect, with huge, nightmarish pincers, has been discovered in China's Sichuan province, experts say.
ADVERTISEMENT