US Africa Command says senior LRA rebel commander defects

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U.S. Africa Command says a senior commander with the rebel group Lord's Resistance Army has defected in Central African Republic.

The U.S. Africa Command in a statement Friday said the commander defected this week to villagers near Pangbayanga. It said he is being debriefed by the African Union Regional Task Force and U.S. forces. No further details were given.

Ugandan troops and U.S. forces, acting as military advisers, are cooperating in the hunt for the fugitive Ugandan LRA warlord Joseph Kony in the jungles of Central Africa.

The rebellion, originating in Uganda in the 1980s as a tribal uprising against the government, is one of Africa's longest and most brutal. The group is reportedly in decline, with many fighters surrendering or dying in firefights with African troops.