A man identifying himself as Dominic Ongwen, a senior commander of the Lord's Resistance Army, gave himself up to US-African forces tracking the guerrilla group in the Central African Republic, the State Department said on Tuesday.

The United States is trying to verify whether the man in its custody is Ongwen, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

She said that if the man in custody is Ongwen, his defection would "represent a historic blow to the LRA's command structure."

US forces have supported a regional task force of African troops since 2011 to track down LRA leader Joseph Kony, wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in a guerilla war in Uganda and neighbouring countries.