Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda. The group formed in 1987 and has since been at war against the Ugandan government. Kony believes that if he wins, a theocratic government based on the ten commandments can be created. The LRA is considered to be part 2 of the Lakwena militant group. Kony is a superstitious leader who strongly advises his soldiers to paint crosses on their chest to protect them from bullets. Many believe he is possessed by spirits.
Sadly, his actions far from line up with biblical principles. The LRA has kidnapped tens of thousands of children. These kids are then used as either sex slaves or soldiers. Some are forced to kill their own parents. Disruptive children have facial features cut off and are then forced to eat it. Kony and his commanders take some of the girls as wives. It is believed that Kony has around 60 wives. Children are also used to carry supplies for the army. If they become too weak or sick to be beneficial to the army, they are killed or left to die.
Joseph Kony grew up Catholic and served as an altar boy during his youth. Now he claims to be visited by eight angels who give him advice. Kony gained military support from Sudan in the 1990's, but when the International Criminal Court placed a warrant for his arrest they withdrew their support. The ICC indicted Kony in 2005, but he is yet to be captured.
Over the years the Lord's Resistance Army have attacked many churches. One major event occurred on Christmas day in 2008 when the LRA killed 189 people and kidnapped 120 children at a Catholic concert. Many more were killed over the days that followed. Several victims were found cut into many pieces. In December 2009 another massacre occurred, resulting in the death of 321 people and the abduction of at least 80 children.
Thousands of children seek shelter at night in nearby towns and churches to avoid being captured, and return to their homes each morning.
Nearly ten years ago a group of three went to Uganda, having no idea how that trip would dramatically change the course of their lives. What started as a film making adventure led to the creation of Invisible Children. Recently a video was released titled 'KONY 2012'. It has already been viewed by millions online. The goal is to make him famous by bringing awareness to the public. Before now no one really knew who Joseph Kony was. Thanks to the internet and sites such as twitter and Facebook, the grim realization of what has been going on for over two decades is being seen and heard all over the world. By getting information to the public, Invisible Children hopes for the arrest of Joseph Kony and that he will be put on trial and held accountable for his crimes against humanity.
Invisible Children operate on donations and send out kits to those who pledge support. April 20, 2012 has been designated as the day to hang posters and signs in order to reach even more people.
When brought to the attention of the U.S. government in the past they were refused help. After continuous pressure from thousands of people, President Obama finally relented and sent one hundred military advisors to assist the Ugandan government. In order to bring Joseph Kony to justice we must continue to make a stand for the safety of these children. If we do nothing, the children of Uganda and surrounding areas will continue to live in fear.
Several people have come forward stating that this is a scam and not true. Some claim that it is simply a military psy-ops campaign to gain control of oil and other resources located in Africa. Most agree to the fact that Joseph Kony is an evil man. The clash comes from different opinions of why and how this issue is being handled and presented.
Black Agenda reports ten reasons they believe this is a scam. Their claims consist of this being used in an attempt for the U.S. to gain control of sought after resources, and state that if we really wanted Kony we could have had him years ago. Their article states that the Ugandan government has also been accused by the International Criminal Court for child slavery.
Articles claim that there are actually only about 200 soldiers in the LRA instead of the thousands mentioned in the video,
There is also a video on you tube with Joseph Kony being interviewed by a reporter. Now this does seem a little odd that a reporter found him yet the government claims to have no knowledge of where he is. He has supposedly been in hiding since 2006.
Earlier this year oil companies discovered one billion dollars worth of oil in Northern Uganda, a few weeks before the Kony video went viral. There are also claims that there have been over 50 billion dollars discovered, with 200 billion more predicted. One of the companies is Tullow Oil, who is backed by JP Morgan, who also backs Invisible Children and donated one million dollars. Coincidence?
Some believe that our children are being used to 'sell' their agenda to the parents and influence public opinion. I know the Kony 2012 video was shown at my child's middle school, and she came home eager to go out and hang signs and make it known. There are also claims that this is just a ploy to deceive the public into agreeing to war in Africa.
I am undecided at the moment how I feel. We have enough problems with our country as it is. However, I do believe in helping others who are being mistreated. War is not always the answer, but sometimes can not be avoided. I don't agree with starting a war for the wrong reasons, or simply to 'steal' resources out from under a country just because we want them. Doesn't that kind of make us the 'bad' guy? My advice to readers is to do a little research and form your own opinion.
I have to admit that by pushing the video on social networks, if this was indeed the governments plan...that we have helped to promote a war for the wrong reasons.