Arusha, March 28, 2014 (FH) – The US announced it has sent extra planes and troops to help boost the search for Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony. Meanwhile, Charles Blé Goudé, former right-hand man of Ivorian ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, protested his innocence in a first appearance before the International Criminal Court.

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USA/ICCUS military planes to boost hunt for Kony: Washington announced at the start of the week it was sending extra planes and 150 Air Force special forces to help the search for Kony, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The US forces are to be based in Uganda but will be used in other countries where Kony’s Lords Resistance Army (LRA) is present, according to a spokesperson in Washington. The US already sent 100 special troops in 2011 to help African countries track the LRA leader. Washington has also offered up to 5 million dollars for information leading to Kony’s arrest.

ICC/CÔTE D’IVOIREFirst appearance of Charles Blé Goudé before the ICC: Former Ivorian Youth Minister Charles Blé Goudé, a close aide of ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, protested his innocence Thursday in his first appearance before the ICC. The former head of the Young Patriots, a pro-Gbagbo militia, is suspected of crimes against humanity committed in his country during post-election violence from December 2010 to April 2011. The former minister said he hoped to return to his country after his trial.

NEXT WEEKRuto trial resumes: The trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang, which has been suspended since March 19, is set to resume on Monday with the testimonies of more prosecution witnesses. The two men are charged with crimes against humanity committed in their East African country during post-election violence in 2007-2008.