The top bodyguard for Joseph Kony, the infamous leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army militant group in central Africa, was recently killed, according to an army official in Uganda.
Kony’s bodyguard, known as Brigadier Binani, was killed during a battle with Ugandan troops in the Central African Republic near South Sudan, army spokesman Felix Kulayigye told Al Jazeera on Monday.
“We got intelligence that the group was there and the squads were inserted to pursue them,” Kulayigye was quoted as saying.
Binani was described by Al Jazeera as the main kidnapper of children for Kony’s army. Children are often used as sex slaves, pack-carriers, or even fighters to fuel the LRA’s 25-year conflict against the Ugandan government.
“We encountered Brigadier Binani late on Thursday last week and in the ensuing clash his unit dispersed but we managed to kill him in action,” Dick Olum, who is in charge of the force tasked with taking out Kony, told Reuters.
“Every day we are closing in on Kony and when you have such an encounter with his former bodyguard, it is a very strong sign and encouragement that success is in our grasp,” he said, adding that Binani wasn’t Kony’s bodyguard when he was killed, without elaborating.
But killing him was still viewed as progress.
“For the chief escort to die in combat means you are close to the bone marrow. It is an encouragement; we are decimating the command structure of the LRA. We are making arrangements to bring his body to Gulu,” Kulayigye told the Uganda-based New Vision publication.
Kulayigye told The Associated Press that it was unfortunate that Binani was not captured alive, as he could have shared information regarding the whereabouts or other information on Kony and the LRA.
It is believed that there are only around 200 fighters in the LRA after having an army of thousands at one point, according to AP. They are said to be mostly located in the jungles of Central African Republic and in South Sudan.
The Enough Project said that it will be difficult to finally take out the LRA without more manpower on the ground and better intelligence.
Last year, a viral YouTube video and campaign highlighted the abuses carried out by Kony, who claims to have mystical powers and sought to rule Uganda via his own interpretation of the Bible, and his cohorts. The International Criminal Court has also issued arrest warrants for Kony and his top commanders for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.