Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Who is Joseph Kony? And why should you care?

The grassroots organization Invisible Children has launched KONY2012, a awareness campaign to help bring Joseph Kony to justice.

  • The grassroots organization Invisible Children has launched KONY2012, a awareness campaign to help bring Joseph Kony to justice.
  • Joseph Kony of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

The movement to expose Ugandan Joseph Kony as a war criminal has gone viral with the launch of a video on YouTube.  A little more than 48 hours ago, it would have been easy to assume that most Americans had no clue who this guy was or why they should care.

That is exactly why this 30 minute video was posted, and thanks to social media, millions are finding out about Kony.

For 26 years, Joseph Kony has led the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) which has been accused of abducting more than 30,000 children in the central African nation of Uganda.

Kony and the LRA reportedly use abducted boys as a children’s army, and the girls for sexual purposes and slaves.

In the video posted to YouTube, American Jason Russell, one of the founders of the San Diego-based non-profit Invisible Children (IC), details his organizations efforts to help see Kony arrested during this calendar year.

Invisible Children’s video aims to get everyday Americans involved in supporting this cause, labeled KONY2012.

According to the video, Kony and the LRA have forced many of these child soldiers to kill their parents. He has abducted over 30 thousand children. These children have become known as the invisible children; invisible to most of the world but not uncared for.

While the IC video states Kony is not fighting for any cause only to maintain his power and claims to be not supported by anyone, the Ugandan rebel claimed in a 2006 interview first aired by the BBC to be “a freedom fighter”.

In the past, Kony has proposed peace, but has then after negotiations rearmed and attacked again.

The International Criminal Court, which started in 2002, had a goal to find and arrest the world’s worst criminals. You can only guess who was at the top of the list… Joseph Kony.

Invisible Children’s mission is rooted in a belief that capturing Kony requires gaining international support.

In addition to IC, several other organizations are working to bring Kony to justice, among other projects. According to an article published in Foreign Affairs last November, other groups involved include the Enough project, the Resolve campaign, and the Canadian-based group GuluWalk. Older agencies, from Human Rights Watch to World Vision, have also been involved.

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