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Uganda war crimes suspect reportedly negotiating surrender with Central African Republic

The Central African Republic (CAR) [CIA backgrounder] government on Thursday said that accused war criminal Joseph Kony [BBC backgrounder] has been speaking with CAR President Michel Djotodia [BBC backgrounder] about negotiating a surrender. Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website; JURIST backgrounder] for 12 counts of crimes against humanity and 21 war crimes [ICC arrest warrant, PDF], including murder, rape, mutilation and the forced enlistment of child soldiers. A CAR spokesperson claimed [AP report] that Kony is now believed to be in Nzako, although none of the groups currently searching for Kony indicated that Kony was in Nzako. The CAR government claims to have sent medicine per Kony's request, and there are reports that Kony is seriously ill. The US State Department on Thursday stated [press release] that US authorities are aware that the CAR government has been in contact with a small group from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) [BBC backgrounder], which Kony leads, but that there no indicated that Kony is part of the smaller group.

Since the 2012 campaign by Invisible Children [advocacy website] to arrest Kony became popular, the international community has shown an increased commitment to his capture. In March 2012 the ICC's then-chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo expressed his support [JURIST report] for the Invisible Children campaign. Also in March the US House of Representatives proposed legislation [JURIST report] to support and protect Uganda through increased military presence and support in expanding its telecommunications system. In 2009 the ICC said that it was still looking for Kony [JURIST report]. The ICC has been criticized [JURIST op-ed] over the ease with which accused people like Kony can hide from the them and escape trial. Kony has denied the ICC's allegations [JURIST report] against him. Despite ICC calls for global cooperation [JURIST report] to execute the arrest warrant, Kony has remained at large.

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