The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, today appointed Lieutenant General (Rtd.) Jackson Kiprono Tuwei, a Kenyan national, as the new AU Special Envoy for the Issue of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Lt. Gen. Kiprono Tuwei replaces Ambassador Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira, who remains the AU Special Representative for Counter-Terrorism Cooperation and Director of the Algiers-based African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT).
As the new Special Envoy for the LRA Issue, Lt. Gen. Kiprono Tuwei will oversee the continued implementation of the mandate of the AU-led Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the LRA (RCI-LRA). In this respect, he will ensure the overall coordination of the RCI-LRA, in consultation with the member countries of the Initiative. He will also spearhead the efforts to mobilize international support towards the elimination of the LRA and the rehabilitation of the LRA-affected persons and areas. Lt. Gen. Kiprono Tuwei will work closely with the newly-appointed Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), Abdoulaye Bathily, relevant UN agencies and other partners, notably the European Union and the United States, who are providing financial and logistical support to the implementation of the RCI-LRA, as well as with non-governmental organizations.
Lt. Gen. Kiprono Tuwei served for 38 years in the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF), in various capacities. He notably held the positions of Commandant of the National Defense College, from August 2005 to October 2008, Commandant of the Armed Forces Training College, from August 2002 to August 2005, and Commander of the Army Logistics Command, from December 1999 to August 2002. He attended a number of military courses, including Command and Staff at the Defence Staff College of Kenya, from June 1984 to May 1985, and War College at the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) in the United Kingdom (UK), from January to December 1995.
The Chairperson of the Commission expresses her appreciation to Ambassador Francisco Madeira, who, for about two years and half, assumed, on an interim basis, the responsibility of Special Envoy for the LRA Issue, concurrently with his position as Special Representative for Counter-Terrorism Cooperation and ACSRT Director. During his tenure as Special Envoy, the RCI-LRA, which was launched in March 2012, registered commendable progress against the LRA, including the full operationalization of all the contingents as well as Sectors of the Regional Task Force (RTF), greater coordination among the member countries of the RCI-LRA and mobilization of international support. These efforts have resulted in the significant degradation of the command and fighting capacity of the LRA and relative improvement in the humanitarian situation on the ground.