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There's a video you can view on Youtube about a massive campaign to stop him. Joseph Kony is one of the world’s worst war criminals and I support the international effort to arrest him, disarm the lRa and bring the child soldiers home. He is currently NUMBER ONE on the International Criminal Court's list of war criminals.
Joseph Kony (born 1961 in Odek, Uganda) is a Ugandan guerrilla group leader, head of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a group engaged in a violent campaign to establish theocratic government based on the Ten Commandments throughout Uganda. The LRA say that God has sent spirits to communicate this mission directly to Kony.
Directed by Kony, the LRA has earned a reputation for its actions against the people of several countries, including northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Sudan. It has abducted and forced an estimated 66,000 children to fight for them, and has also forced the internal displacement of over 2,000,000 people since its rebellion began in 1986. As a result, in 2005 Kony was indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court at the Hague, but has succeeded in evading capture since.
Joseph Kony was born in 1961 in Odek, a village east of Gulu in northern Uganda. A member of the Acholi, Kony was the son of farmers. He enjoyed a good relationship with his siblings, but was quick to retaliate in a dispute, and when confronted he would often resort to physical violence. He was teased in school about his size, and his low grades in school strained his relationship with his teachers. His father was a lay catechist of the Catholic Church and his mother was an Anglican. Kony was an altar boy for several years, but he stopped attending church at about the age of 15. As a teenager, Kony apprenticed as the village witch doctor under his older brother, Jamie Brow, and when his older brother died, he assumed the full role. He did not graduate high school. Kony first came to prominence in January 1986 as the leader of one of the many premillennialist groups that sprang up in Acholiland in the wake of the wildly popular Holy Spirit Movement of Alice Auma (aka Lakwena), to whom Kony is thought to be related. However, their relative loss of influence after the overthrow of Acholi President Tito Okello by Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Army (NRA) during the Ugandan Bush War (1981–1986) spurred resentment among the Acholi.
Lord's Resistance ArmyOriginally Kony's group was named the United Holy Salvation Army (UHSA) and was not perceived as a threat by the NRA. By 1988, with the accord between NRA and the Uganda People's Democratic Army and addition of its remnant troops as well as forced recruitment of children the United Holy Salvation Army was becoming a formidable resistance army. The bulk of his foot soldiers were children. Whilst estimates of the number of children conscripted since 1986 vary, some put the figure as high as 104,000. He often killed their family and neighbors when abducting these children, forcing them to fight for him. With these remnants of UPDA was commander Odong Latek, who convinced Kony to use standard military tactics as opposed to its previous attempts which involved attacking in cross-shaped formations and the use of holy water. The new tactics proved successful and the UHSA delivered several small but stinging defeats against the NRA. After these victories the NRA responded by significantly weakening Kony's group with political actions and a military campaign named Operation North. The operation was devastating to what would become the Lord's Resistance Army and with their number reduced from thousands to hundreds still engaged in retaliatory attacks on civilians and NRA collaborators.
By 1992, Kony had renamed the group the United Democratic Christian Army and it was at this time that they kidnapped 44 girls from the Sacred Heart Secondary and St. Mary's girls schools.
Betty Bigombe remembered that the first time she met Kony, his followers used oil to ward-off bullets and evil spirits. In a letter regarding future talks, Kony stated that he must consult the Holy Spirit. When the talks did occur they insisted on participation of religious leaders and opened the proceedings with prayers led by LRA's Director of Religious Affairs Jenaro Bongomi. Finally, during the 1994 peace talks Kony appeared preceded by men in robes sprinkling holy water.
Joseph Kony was thought among followers and detractors alike to have been possessed by spirits; he has been portrayed as either the Messiah or the Devil. He reportedly made annual trips to the Ato Hills in Uganda. He would allegedly ascend to the highest of the hills and lie down in the hot sun for days. He would be covered by a blanket of red termites that slashed deeply into his skin. Oil from the Yao plant was spread over his body. Then he would enter a cave and stay in seclusion for weeks. Kony believes in the literal protection provided by a cross symbol and tells his child soldiers a cross on their chest drawn in oil would protect them from bullets. Kony insists that he and the Lord's Resistance Army are fighting for the Ten Commandments, defending his actions: "Is it bad? It is not against human rights. And that commandment was not given by Joseph. It was not given by LRA. No, those commandments were given by God."
The Ugandan military has attempted to kill Kony for most of the insurgency. Uganda's latest attempt towards tracking down Kony has been to enlist the help of former LRA combatants to search remote areas of the Central African Republic, the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo where he was last seen.
IndictmentOn October 6, 2005, it was announced by the International Criminal Court (ICC) that arrest warrants had been issued for five members of the Lord's Resistance Army for crimes against humanity following a sealed indictment. On the next day Ugandan defense minister Amama Mbabazi revealed that the warrants include Joseph Kony, his deputy Vincent Otti, and LRA commanders Raska Lukwiya, Okot Odiambo and Dominic Ongwen. According to spokesmen for the military, the Ugandan army killed Lukwiya on August 12, 2006.
A week later, on October 13, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo released details on Kony's indictment. There are 33 charges, 12 counts are crimes against humanity, which include murder, enslavement, sexual enslavement and rape. There are another 21 counts of war crimes which include murder, cruel treatment of civilians, intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population, pillaging, inducing rape, and forced enlisting of children into the rebel ranks. Ocampo said that "Kony was abducting girls to offer them as rewards to his commanders."
On July 31, 2006, Kony met with several cultural, political, and religious leaders from northern Uganda at his hideout in the Congolese forests to discuss the war. The following day, August 1, he crossed the border into Sudan to speak with Southern Sudan Vice President Riek Machar. Kony later told reporters that he would not be willing to stand trial at the ICC because he had not done anything wrong.
On November 12, 2006, Kony met Jan Egeland, the United Nations Undersecretary-General for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief. Kony told Reuters: "We don't have any children. We only have combatants."
U.S. action against KonyAfter the September 11th attacks, the United States declared the Lord's Resistance Army a terrorist group. On August 28, 2008, the United States Treasury Department placed Kony on its list of "Specially Designated Global Terrorists," a designation that carries financial and other penalties. It is not known whether Kony has any assets that are affected by this designation.
In May 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, legislation aimed at stopping Kony and the LRA. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate on March 11, 2010 with 65 senators as cosponsors, then passed unanimously in the House of Representatives on May 13, 2010 with 202 representatives as cosponsors.
In November 2010, Obama delivered a strategy document to Congress, asking for more money to disarm Kony and the LRA.
In October 2011, Obama authorized the deployment of approximately 100 combat-equipped U.S. troops to central Africa. They will help regional forces “remove from the battlefield” Joseph Kony and senior LRA leaders. "Although the U.S. forces are combat-equipped, they will only be providing information, advice, and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense," Obama said in a letter to Congress.
This has to be the year. If the people don't support, neither with the U.S. Troops are there but they can be pulled out at anytime. Kony has gone into hiding in Africa's jungles and only the U.S. has the technology to find him but they won't unless they have enough time. The U.S. government needs to think this is a big deal or otherwise they won't lend support.
Last edited by ZERO PHOENIX; March 07, 2012 at 10:43 AM.
No doubt Kony is an evil person and no doubt people supporting KONY 2012 have good intentions. The video is very effective. However propaganda is always propaganda. Things are not that simple, that's why I think people also should read the critique too, whenever watching KONY2012.
It's great how this knowledge is spreading like wildfire. I also think Kony needs to be stopped. But I don't particulary support KONY2012 campaign.
Investigated it. Kony is just one of the usual suspects in terms of African warlords. I find it odd that we're being told to support this cause when there are so many others... (Ivory Coast, DRoC...)
Kony's a miserable man, and his predecessor was a miserable man too. But I think it's a bad idea to waste American (in particular) resources in this random dictator-killing. I was fine with Ghaddafi because we already had bad blood with him (Pan Am Flight 103) and bin Laden (we all know this guy). But Kony is the problem of one of our proxy allies, so why should we even bother?
That's the general argument I can give to the American public that doesn't want to accept complexity. Personally I think it's a bad idea mostly because of the internal conflict in the area, and getting ourselves involved in another volatile region is not good. Apparently in the video they talk about giving weapons to the Uganda army. Anyone remember how America gave weapons to what became the Taliban?
Two outstanding articles about Kony: The first was posted to Foreign Policy magazines website today, providing details about Kody and LRA that Invisible Children did not. The second was posted to Foreign Affairs magazine website shortly after Obama sent military advisers.
I can hardly argue with the fact that Joseph Kody is a monster and should be brought to justice. There is little doubt he is a monster even by the standards of African warlords, not quite Charles Taylor, but very close. The problem with Invisible Children's presentation is that his capture is not an end unto itself. He is but one warlord operating in the great lakes region, when he is gone there will still be more. The President of Uganda himself was a warlord not that different from Mr. Kony. During the Luwero War (1981-1986) his National Resistance Army (NRA) committed many of the same crimes as the LRA, including the abduction and impresment of children. Upon seizing power in 1986 President Museveni turned the NRA into the national army of Uganda. Warlordism is endemic to Africa, particularly central Africa, both a symptom and cause of the political and economic ills facing post-independence Africa. While capture of Kody is a noble cause it will not change anything for the people of central Africa. The suffering will continue as he is not the only warlord operating in the region, nor the only one guilty of these crimes. Invisible Children are doing nothing more than introducing a new humanitarian flavor of the month, as likely to be forgotten as Darfur. Rather than mobilize such a large audience for such a limited goal it would have been wonderful if they presented a broader plan for improving western policy towards Africa and targeting the root of the matter. A shame, so many voices are being wasted on a goal that will at best have limited effect on regional stability.
After watching the video I was struck by how the charity seemed more central to the narrative than the cause. More time was spent talking about who Invisible Children are than about who they are trying to capture. Given there poor financial accountability questions have arisen over whether they are more interested in capturing Kony or selling $30 bracelets.
5.5 million people have died in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1994, more than in any armed conflict since World War II. Often called Africa's World War this conflict has drawn in neighboring Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, and Zimbabwe. Yet there has been no celebrity outrage, no notable charities or NGO's raising awareness, no viral video's, and no public awareness. I do not mean to say that one conflict is more deserving of attention than others. Instead I hope to illustrate how selective awareness is regarding African conflict.
Last edited by Kaiten; March 08, 2012 at 02:41 AM.
I don't support this campaign. I was actually quite frustrated after seeing this documentary.
First of all, it simplifies problems that are much more complexed than "capture one man, and everything is going to get better"
Second, It worries me that they think that when the children soldiers return home, everything is alright (what?!) They are most likely deeply traumatized and maybe don't even have a home to return to.
If a war were to break out due to the foreign military forces, it's a clash between american forces and children from the LRA.
And, really, I don't care about this dude's son in the documentary. It was completely unnecessary.
Not everyone's getting on board the Kony 2012 bandwagon. Just think, if President Bush had started a meme of Facebook before he went to war on Iraqm all those anti-war protesters would have been on the pro-war side instad.
Kony 2012 the bastard offspring of the liberal elite
by Brendan O'Neill
SWiPL Porn: The Meaning of Kony 2012
by John Haw
God knows how may more kids would be killed if outside intervention was sent into Uganda. But humour is a good way to defeat evil, take the most suitable jokes from the link below and memes like those above, and use laughter as a weapon against the Kony 2012 campaign.
Hum, there are all crazy kind of wrongs with that video. First of all it is obviously a high level propaganda tool, it is on social media, it is spreading, what more proof is needed? Oh yeah, the usage of movie stars in the campaign, the usage of children, as the maker did with his own kid. Don't go with the trends, they will end up being your own demise. Secondly, it is psychologically enhancing video, the voices of people, music and all.
Secondly the reason for this video. It is mass paranoia. I suggest reading The Crucible by Arthur Miller to get a more firm grasp of this term. African Dictators has been trending since Libya no? Oh wait it was Mugabe before that. But Kony is not a leader of a country, he is a thug-ish criminal, no need to send off shore armies to get him! I mean come on with all the other stuff in Africa, poverty, illness, famine, this is the NUMBER ONE WORRY to the international community?
There is human life at stake here, I agree, Iraq, Libya all over again. And even further Vietnam as well. From communism to terrorism there just has to be an enemy huh? :/