WASHINGTON — President Obama has ordered a sharp increase in US Special Forces deployed to Uganda and sent US military aircraft there for the first time in the ongoing effort to hunt down warlord Joseph Kony across a broad swath of central Africa.
At least four CV-22 Osprey aircraft will arrive in Uganda by midweek, along with refueling aircraft and about 150 Special Operations airmen to fly and maintain the planes, according to Amanda Dory, deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs.
The White House began to notify Congress, under the War Powers Act, of the new deployments as they began Sunday night.
US personnel are authorized to ‘‘provide information, advice, and assistance’’ to an African Union military task force tracking Kony and his organization, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), across Uganda, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Congo. They are prohibited from engaging LRA forces unless in self-defense.
The new War Powers Act notification sets the approximate total for all US forces in Uganda at 300.
Kony, whose forces have spent years attacking central African villages, mutilating civilians, and stealing children, has been indicted by the International Criminal Court. His organization is thought to have been decimated in recent years through military action against it and defections.