What You Should Know About Kony 2012
Kony 2012 is a campaign created by Invisible Children, a nonprofit organization which provides aid to the areas of greatest need in Uganda, Africa. Invisible Children’s co-founder, Jason Russell, directed the 29-minute video released on YouTube in March that went viral within a week. This video addresses the issues facing Ugandan people and the organization’s main priority: to capture Joseph Kony, and punish him for what he has done to Ugandan children.
Kony is the leader of the Ugandan militant rebel group Lord’s Resistant Army, or the LRA. He calls himself a prophet who claims to speak the word of God and forces his followers to obey his commands. His technique involves taking children from their villages and forcing them to kill their parents. Ugandan families live in fear and tend to sleep in overcrowded areas to avoid capture and ongoing violence. In the past 20 years, at least 30,000 children have been abducted and used as sex slaves and child soldiers in Uganda. Kony is responsible for the kidnapping and brainwashing of the children. After killing their parents, the children have no choice but to follow him. For these crimes against humanity, Kony is at the top of the International Criminal Court’s Most-Wanted list.
Russell, eager to get the American government involved in the capture, sent a letter to President Obama asking him for military support. In October 2011, President Obama authorized 100 American soldiers to go to Uganda and surrounding countries to find and capture Kony and other members of the LRA.
To raise awareness of the LRA and plan to capture Kony, Invisible Children plans on “covering the night” on April 20, introduced through Russell’s video. On this night, people from all over the world will display posters throughout their neighborhoods so Joseph Kony will be a household name. Kony is one of the world’s worst war-criminals and the campaign is intended to make him famous, raise support for his arrest and set an example for international justice. Invisible Children has been trying long and hard to stop the LRA’s vicious crimes and capture Joseph Kony. By exposing him and his group’s crimes worldwide, hopefully the Ugandan children and the people of many oppressed African countries will be aided by the international community.