It has been confirmed that Caesar Achellam’s bodyguard, a LRA lieutenant, defected near Mboki, CAR. Reportedly, he surrendered because of threats on his life from LRA members who accused him of deliberately allowing Achellam to be captured. This was accompanied by the report of 5 other LRA officers defecting with the bodyguard.
Since Caesar Achellam’s capture on May 13, 2012 by UPDF forces, 260,000 Invisible Children-designed defection fliers with Achellam’s photograph and defection statement have been printed and distributed throughout LRA-affected regions in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Central African Republic.
The English translation of his defection statement reads:
“I, Major General Achellam, have come out of the LRA, and am sending a message to my brothers in the bush. Put down your guns and stop fighting. Kony has been deceiving us all, we have nothing to fear. The UPDF did not harm me when we met. Do not fear, the UPDF are our brothers and they want us to come back home. Let us make the war come to an end.”
“The surrender of Acellam’s bodyguard and reports of subsequent defections are signs of the LRA’s weakened and fractured state, and indicate the significance of Acellam’s capture. As thousands of additional fliers continue being created and radio messages broadcast, we’re hopeful that the number of defectors grows in the days ahead.”
-Adam Finck, Invisible Children Director of Programs, Central Africa