Africa

Ugandan LRA commander Okot Odhimabo's 'grave found'

Ugandan soldiers patrol as part of a mission to combat Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in Obo in the Central African Republic (CAR) on 11 May 2014 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ugandan forces have been hunting down the LRA in the Central African Republic

Ugandan troops have found the grave of what is believed to be that of a rebel commander wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

A deserter from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group had led troops to the suspected grave of Okot Odhiambo, an army spokesman said.

Mr Odhiambo was presumed to have been killed in clashes in 2013.

He was indicted by the ICC in 2005 on 10 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

'Ruthless killer'

He is suspected to have commanded an attack on a camp for displaced people in northern Uganda in February 2004, killing about 300 people in one of the largest massacres blamed on the LRA.

People were burnt alive, hacked to death with machetes and shot as they tried to escape, Uganda's state-owned New Vision newspaper reports.

If Mr Odhimabo's identity is confirmed, it will mean that only LRA leader Joseph Kony remains at large from the ICC's wanted list of suspected Ugandan war criminals.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption LRA commander Dominic Ongwen is now in the custody of the ICC

The LRA is notorious for seizing children and using them as sex slaves and fighters.

Ugandan army spokesman Lt Col Paddy Ankunda told the the BBC that US forces were conducting DNA tests to check whether the remains were those of Mr Odhiambo.

The BBC's Patience Atuhaire in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, says the army is not giving that many details, but the grave is believed to have been uncovered in the Central African Republic (CAR).

In its indictment, the ICC describes Mr Odhiambo as a "ruthless killer" who was part of the LRA's core leadership

Last month, the LRA suffered a major blow when one of its feared commanders, Dominic Ongwen, was taken into the custody of US forces in CAR.

The US said Mr Ongwen had surrendered to its elite troops searching for the LRA's top leadership, but the CAR's Seleka group said it had captured Mr Ongwen after a battle before handing him over.

The LRA began its rebellion in northern Uganda more than two decades ago, but it retreated to CAR, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo following an offensive by the Ugandan military.

The group says it is fighting for a Biblical state in Uganda.

Related Topics

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites