Joseph Kony the Viral Rebel Leader
[English Text only]
Kony 2012, one of the most viral social movements of the year so far, all rooted from a thirty minute documentary about a warlord by the name of Joseph Kony. The thirty minute beautifully presented video goes into the atrocities the warlord has done with his rebel faction called the LRA (The Lord’s Resistance Army). The documentary explains how the LRA has done some of the most unthinkable things to the nation of Uganda and surrounding states. Such things include abducting children from their homes and forcing them to become child soldiers, and even making them go back to their village and kill their parents. Abducted girls are said to become sex slaves and wife’s of the LRA generals and high ranking members. The video also preaches how despite being the UN number one most wanted man on the planet, the major nations of the world do not take any action due to the general awareness of the public, which until now was nearly none at all. The message goes onto spreading its agenda through making Joseph Kony famou, how? By literally spamming him in everything, by spreading what he has done to the point that it is a household name. The aim of all this is to convince the US to send advisors to Uganda to aid in the search and capture of Joseph Kony himself, at to which the makers of the documentary Invisible Children say will effectively disband the LRA.
Despite the message of the video being seemingly good hearted many critics have raised big issues with the Kony 2012 video. Critics argue Kony and his diminishing troops; many of them kidnapped child soldiers, fled northern Uganda six years ago and are now spread across the jungles of neighbouring countries. Rosebell Kagumire, a Ugandan journalist specializing in peace and conflict reporting, said: “This paints a picture of Uganda six or seven years ago, that is totally not how it is today. It’s highly irresponsible”. People claiming Uganda has been at a reasonable state of peace for the last six years. This may lead to speculations of the video being a scam as it promotes an action pack people can purchase for a price of thirty dollars. There are also many reports that thirty percentages of all donations Invisible Children receive go to the Ugandan army’s efforts to find Kony, a man said to be either dead or in hiding outside of Uganda. To add to insult it seems the organisation pockets seventy percent of all of the donations given to the cause.
Many citizens of Uganda itself are expressing their outrage claiming that the organization is taking profit off a situation which might have been valid six years ago, as many residence of Uganda are saying most of Kony’s abducted child soldiers and Kony himself have fled to the forests north of the Ugandan border, and many go as far to say that Kony himself is dead. Though the Invisible Children organisation still defend the claims made in their documentary.
Then on April 5th 2012, Kony 2012 Part Two was realised to the public via the Invisible Children Youtube channel. Unlike the first part it only got 1.9 million views as opposed to the 88 million views which were achieved by the first video produced by invisible children. Clarified in the second video though is that the LRA is no longer based in Uganda, the video states that after the LRA left Uganda in 2006 they spread to the surrounding areas of, The D.R. of Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan. To also counter claims that Kony’s LRA are now an inactive groups they produced the statistic of 2,400 people being killed from 2008 onwards. Also they stated that the group also abducted 58 more children and have so far amassed 250 soldiers, but have the capacity to have already displaced 440,000 people.
Still it seems the Invisible Children Foundation is still doing something to help out in the field, they show in their video, how they’ve made rehabilitation centres for those who have escaped Kony’s troop to rehabilitate them into society. Also helping the locals of the affected areas make an early radio warning system. With help from the locals they have also provided fliers telling the LRA soldiers ways of escaping and coming back home without any prosecution. The Invisible Children part in this so far seems to be so far is to help rehabilitation and also raising general awareness. All in all it seems the second video addresses the flaws of information from the first and again promotes it’s message of peacefully taking down the LRA, by arresting Kony and getting the soldiers to come back home.
Though time will only tell how this situation plays out, only when Joseph Kony is put to trail and the LRA is disbanded can we see the long lasting benefits on the communities that Kony has said to affect in such a terrible way, but for now we can only watch on as countries such as the US aid in military advisors for the aid of Kony’s capture and as people donate to the cause of awareness and rehabilitating and pre warning the communities affected by the LRA.