A fascinating article in yesterday's New York Times deconstructs the Kony phenomena, explaining how the launch of a social media campaign brought immediate worldwide attention to the horrific deeds of Joseph Kony – leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
As of today, more than 70 million people have viewed Kony 2012 , the viral video about Kony – the Ugandan warlord who is accused a litany of atrocities including murder, rape and abducting children and forcing them to serve as soldiers. He is the subject of an arrest warrant issued in 2005 by the International Criminal Court. That documents reads, in part:
“…the LRA has engaged in a cycle of violence and established a pattern ofThe Kony 2012 film was produced by Invisible Children – a San Diego-based activist group. As the video’s reach has grown, Invisible Children has come under increasing scrutiny and Kony 2012 has faced growing criticism. This CNN story outlines the concerns of those who charge that Kony 2012 exaggerated the scope of the LRA’s atrocities and points out that Kony himself has not been in Uganda for many years. The fact that he is a merciless tyrant doesn't seem to be in question.
“brutalization of civilians” by acts including murder, abduction, sexual
enslavement, mutilation, as well as mass burnings of houses and looting of
camp settlements; that abducted civilians, including children, are said to have
been forcibly “recruited” as fighters, porters and sex slaves to serve the LRA
and to contribute to attacks against the Ugandan army and civilian communities...
There is a wealth of primary source material available regarding Kony, The LRA, and the atrocities in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Among the items you’ll find are the arrest warrant issued for Kony by the International Criminal Court, The United Nations Working Paper on the six grave violations against children during conflict, and information about the UN Security Council’s condemnation of the continued use of child soldiers in armed conflict.