US: No Plans To Deploy Osprey To Hunt Kony

The U.S. State Department says there are no plans for the U.S. to temporarily deploy Osprey aircraft to Uganda to aid in efforts to hunt down fugitive warlord Joseph Kony.

Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group that has terrorized central African villages for years.

A V-22 osprey aircraft
A V-22 osprey aircraft

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki made the comment Tuesday, after The Washington Post said the U.S. military had asked the White House to temporarily base Osprey aircraft in the African nation in a bid to intensify efforts to find Kony.

“We do continue to consult with our African partners and look for ways in which we can enhance our support but again, at this time, no plans to deploy Osprey,” said Psaki.

LRA's fugitive leader Joseph Kony
LRA’s fugitive leader Joseph Kony

The Osprey can land like a helicopters, but fly like a plane.  The Post said it would allow U.S. and African troops searching for Kony to cover a broader area and more quickly assault his camps.

The LRA fought the Ugandan government for 20 years before melting into the jungles of central Africa.  In recent years, Kony’s fighters have attacked and looted dozens of villages, often killing inhabitants and kidnapping children who they convert into soldiers.

The group is believed to have shrunk to just 250 fighters who travel in small bands through Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

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