Joseph Kony's rebels trade in ivory, minerals despite hunt for its leaders, say rights groups

Watchdog groups say Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army is increasingly trafficking in ivory and minerals to obtain weapons and other supplies to be used in the jungles of central Africa.

Enough Project, Invisible Children and The Resolve said in a report released Wednesday that the rebels' illegal trade in ivory, diamonds and gold may be linked to the LRA's efforts to improve relations with other armed groups such as Central African Republic's Seleka militia.

Kony's LRA comprises a few hundred fighters who are being hunted down by African Union troops as well as U.S. advisers.

The report says the rebel group transports most of the illicit ivory and minerals to an area controlled by Sudan, although some are traded locally with the Seleka and local civilians.