The Pentagon will add to its fleet of aircraft aiding the fight against Africa warlord Joseph Kony, military records show, in an effort that U.S. officials claim has the head of the Lord's Resistance Army on the run.
A contract solicitation by the U.S. Transportation Command calls for a potential contractor to operate two fixed-wing aircraft at the airport in Obo, a small city in the southeastern Central African Republic. The aircraft will ferry passengers, supplies, weapons and ammunition to troops from the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in their fight against Kony.
Kony has been engaged in a regional power struggle that started in Uganda in the 1980s and is accused of directing atrocities during that time. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court and is believed to be hiding in the Central African Republic.
In an interview last week with Yahoo News, Stephen Rapp, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes and crimes against humanity, said Kony is on the run and "the United States has had clues that the international effort has 'gotten very, very close to Kony.' "
The United States has a detachment of 100 special forces troops in the region as part of Operation Observant Compass and is seeking the extension of an existing helicopter operation to support the international contingent fighting Kony. That anti-Kony operation could extend into late 2015, military records show.
STORY: Anti-Kony mission in Africa could stretch well into 2015
The aircraft would carry a variety of weapons, records show, including rocket-propelled grenades and land mines.