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Joseph Kony arrested in Garamba National Park

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 31, 2012 -- Updated 0457 GMT (1257 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kony, LRA leader, surrendered unarmed
  • Cited US activism and celebrity involvement as primary motive
  • "Nothing like this has ever happened before in the history of international relations," says DRC president

Goma (CNN) -- Authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have arrested Joseph Rao Kony, head of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) guerilla group-- officials said Friday.

Kony, who is responsible for ordering an estimated 66,000 children to become child soldiers, surrendered in a forest near Garamba National Park in the northeast section of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to officials. He was unarmed and unaccompanied.

Details of the surrender are unclear, but UN spokesperson Clifford Daniels reports that Kony's request was to speak to Jason Russell, director of the Invisible Children Inc. documentary KONY 2012, a call for American citizens to demand Kony's capture and arrest.

"It's too much," Kony told officers as they searched him for weapons and arrested him. "Now that the youth in America know who I am, I am not safe. My army can protect me from United Nations forces and the United States government, but from the postings of American celebrities there is no escape. Too late I realized that an army of child soldiers in Congo are no match for an army of youth soldiers in America, armed not with guns but with computers."

"Nothing like this has ever happened before in the history of international relations. For anyone who doubted the motivations of Invisible Children Inc., this just goes to show how far tweets and shares can really extend," said Joseph Kabila, president of the DRC.

CNNCongo.com contributed to this report.

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