Gulu — Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony is reportedly battling peptic ulcers and has instructed his top commanders to find him drugs, an ex-rebel who defected last year has told Daily Monitor.
Peptic ulcers are sores that develop in the lining of the stomach, lower esophagus, or small intestine (the duodenum), usually as a result of inflammation caused by the bacteria H. pylori, as well as from erosion from stomach acids.
The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is burning abdominal pain that extends from the navel to the chest, which can range from mild to severe.
The former sergeant in the LRA ranks who requested not to be named for his own safety, said Mr Kony who is believed to be hiding in the Central African Republic (CAR) has been instructing them (fighters) to among other things carry out raids on particularly drug shops for supplies to treat his condition. "Acquiring fire arms for LRA fighters is no longer an important thing as Kony works towards his health that is deteriorating," the ex-rebel said
Mr Kony who led a more than 20-year bloody war against government that left hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced has as far back as 2006 been reported very ill.
In 2006, the then Gulu Resident District Commissioner, Col Walter Ochora, who had spent some time with Mr Kony at his hideout in the Garamba Forest said the LRA commander was in poor health and coughing blood. Mr Ochora died in 2011.
Another defector from Kony's camp told journalists in February that Kony had been sick for a while.
Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM), Peter Kidega, 33, who claimed to have last seen Mr Kony on October 9 last year said the war lord had relinquished command to his sons Salim Saleh Kony, 23, and Ali, 21, due to ill health.
Mr Kidega, who served in LRA as a signaler and intelligence officer, revealed that Kony had told some of his officers about his ill-health.
Lt Hassan Ahmad Kato, the 4th Division Army spokesman, citing the accounts of recent defectors who are backing up reports of Kony failing health says with the LRA senior commander ill, the rebel group is in decline.
" Kony has lost the battle, he cannot fight any more according to the reports that we are getting from the those who are defecting," Lt Kato said.
Kony a self-anointed 'messiah' is wanted by The Hague based International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.
At the height of the northern Uganda war, Mr Kony is believed to have abducted more than 30,000 children to strengthen his army, forced an estimated 1.5 million people into Internally Displaced Camps and tens of thousands lost their lives.