There are reports out today that one of Joseph Kony’s most senior LRA commanders, Okot Odhiambo is dead. All unconfirmed reports of this nature should be met with caution, until they are fully verified- which will take some time. However, if confirmed, this represents a huge blow to the LRA’s leadership and command structure. Odhiambo is a master killer and has been one of three remaining senior LRA commanders, including Kony himself, indicted for horrific war crimes and crimes against humanity, including a number of massacres and the mass abduction of children. You can see his commander bio here and an explanation of the LRA’s hierarchy here.
If these reports are confirmed, Invisible Children will strategically distribute this information through our defection programs- using “come home” fliers, FM radio messages, and community defection committees to encourage and facilitate the safe and peaceful defection of LRA fighters and captives. While the arrest of top LRA commanders is necessary, the peaceful surrender of LRA members is the ideal way for this conflict to end. And we will continue to focus our efforts on helping more men, women and children within the LRA safely leave the battlefield — peacefully dismantling Kony’s army from within.
We will be following up on this over with more information and analysis from our partners who can share how this will impact the LRA and decrease their ability to commit further abductions and attacks.
If you want to support these efforts as they happen, make a donation here and help us see an end to the LRA’s violence once and for all.
– Ben Keesey, Invisible Children’s CEO