The UN Security Council expressed concern Monday that chaos in Central African Republic could disrupt the hunt for wanted war criminal Joseph Kony.
Kony's Lord Resistance Army (LRA) is reported to have moved into Central African Republic even as its president says the rebels want to surrender.
A statement agreed by the 15-member Security Council expressed serious concern that an "increased security vacuum" in the giant African nation is helping the "reinforcement" of the LRA in the country.
A Ugandan-led African force is chasing Kony in Uganda, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo. But Kony, who is blamed for 100,000 deaths in a two-decade rampage through the region, has moved into new areas, according to UN officials.
The council statement called for "strong" cooperation between the UN, the African forces and the Central African Republic government to step up efforts to catch Kony.
Kony, who launched a rebellion in Uganda two decades ago, is wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes and crimes against humanity charges including murder, sexual slavery and using child soldiers.
The Central African Republic presidency said last week that it has attempted to negotiate the surrender of the rebels. Some African Union officials said, however, that this was a ploy by Kony to buy time and move his fighters.