Warlord Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army rebel group is increasingly trafficking in ivory and minerals to obtain weapons and other supplies to be used in the jungles of central Africa, watchdog groups said in a report released Wednesday.
The rebels' illegal trade in ivory, diamonds and gold may be linked to the group's efforts to improve relations with other armed groups such as Central African Republic's Seleka militia, said the report by Enough Project, Invisible Children and The Resolve.
Kony's LRA comprises a few hundred fighters who are being hunted down by African Union troops as well as U.S. advisers. The Ugandan-led African forces are operating in South Sudan, Central African Republic, and occasionally Congo. But they are not authorized to cross into a disputed enclave known as Kafia Kingi, Sudanese military-controlled territory where Kony himself is widely thought to be hiding.