Does the ‘Kony 2012’ Video Do More Damage Than Good for LRA Victims?

hcsp.jpgIf you haven’t seen it, the idea behind Kony 2012 is to expose Joseph Kony as the war criminal he is, and to urge action to ensure his capture. Joseph Kony is the leader of the Uganda-based Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Kony’s actions have impacted scores of children and families across Uganda, Sudan, and Democratic Republic of Congo.


Jason Russell, co-founder of nonprofit Invisible Children and director of “Kony 2012” viral video campaign, poses in New York, Friday. The director of a viral video that calls for the arrest of Joseph Kony, the fugitive rebel leader of Lord’s Resistance Army militia group in Uganda, agreed with skeptics who have called the film oversimplified, saying it was deliberately made that way. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

Invisible Children’s free documentary went viral in hours, outraging many for a variety of reasons. Some were amazed at the human trafficking and child soldier atrocities Kony has committed that they knew nothing about. Others were affronted by the seemingly easy solution the video submits to its viewers: Capture Kony.
Every Child Ministries (ECM) has been working with victims of Kony’s crimes throughout Africa for years. ECM’s Lorella Rouster says overall, she thinks the publicity is a good thing: “It will bring attention back to the problem again, first of all, because we tend to have a short attention span as human beings, and people have been excited about helping in northern Uganda. But then we easily forget about it when other problems come along.”
Some of the criticism the video has faced is essentially that it’s irrelevant. Many are saying Kony’s reign, which began 20 years ago, is from a “bygone era.”
Rouster, who has seen firsthand the effects of the LRA’s wrath, disagrees. “It will take years, or even generations, to even begin to heal the damage that Kony did,” she confirms. “So I don’t think it’s a bygone era, because the effects of it are still so dominant.”
Other critics have attacked the seemingly simplistic approach the Invisible Children video has provided to dealing with a two-decade problem. Rouster agrees that capturing Kony is not all that must be done–in particular, she points out that Kony’s second-in-command must be captured as well–but it’s a significant step.
“I do believe that if they are able to capture Kony, it will be a great encouragement to the people of northern Uganda. It will show them that justice has been done–or will be done–and that people can’t do that kind of thing and just get by with it,” says Rouster, adding that despite what the video suggests, Invisible Children is working to do more than just capture Kony.
Source: Charisma News | MISSION NETWORK NEWS