Kony 2012 Video Tries to Take Down Uganda Militia Leader


A video gaining international attention is trying to use the power of the Internet to stop Joseph Kony, the head of a small but infamous militia that has terrorized northern Uganda with killings, kidnappings, mutilations and torture.

The unusual and controversial new campaign spotlights the horrors inflicted by the Lord’s Resistance Army, a militia that for years has been notorious for abducting children to fight as soldiers and suffer as sex slaves, as well as for mutilating its victims.
But the campaign has also spurred a debate about whether the nonprofit behind the effort and its empowering tools of social media — Twitter, YouTube and Facebook — are dangerously oversimplifying the dilemma.
The video campaign was launched this week by Invisible Children Inc., a San Diego-based nonprofit that produced a half-hour documentary that aims to ramp up international pressure to arrest Kony. The militia leader is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of committing war crimes.
Kony has been pursued by the United States, which launched a military mission in Uganda last year to stop him and other Lord’s Resistance Army leaders. U.S. officials said the brutal militia had pushed at least 400,000 people out of their homes. Yet Kony has so far remained on the loose.
The campaign argues that Kony must be made so famous that global pressure will stay on for the U.S. to continue its quest, helping governments in the region to track him down. It plans to paper cities with Kony posters on April 20, hoping to making the guerrilla leader a household name.
“If the world knows who Joseph Kony is, it will unite to stop him,” says the Invisible Children website, which seeks donations and urges visitors to sign a petition calling for Kony to be brought to justice.
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SOURCE: Los Angeles Times
Emily Alpert