by Syeda Khan
Unless you live under a rock, you probably have seen something about Kony 2012 or #StopKony on Twitter.
Who is Joseph Kony? And why has there been such a huge uproar about him? Born and raised in Uganda, Kony is the leader of a rebel group called Lord’s Resistance Army. This group has been known for kidnapping young boys in northern Uganda and using them as murderers and/or rapists. According to Discovery news, he has kidnapped 66,000 children and killed tens of thousands of people, often from the families of the kidnapped children.
How did Kony rise to power? According to CNN.com, when Kony was in his early twenties, he became very interested in the recurring violence in Uganda, which concluded the final years of former Ugandan president Milton Obote. Once Obote was removed from his presidency in 1985, and soon after current president Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Army took power; this is the time when Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army rose up against Museveni’s power.
A documentary was released, which talks about accusations of wicked acts that were committed by this Ugandan warlord. This video has spread like a rapid fire throughout various social media outlets, and many people are upset and outraged at what they saw; demanding a capture for this dangerous man. The US has currently listed LRA as a terrorist organization, and in October, the government approved up to 100 US special operations trainers and military advisers to help African forces to search for Kony and other leaders of LRA.
Kony has been charged for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in 2005, including 33 charges for murder, enslavement, rape, pillaging and forced fighting. However, since the charges were brought upon Kony, he has since fled Uganda and his whereabouts are not known.
In my opinion, I find it quite odd how most people acted surprised at the thought of such violence occurring in Uganda and other parts of Africa for that matter. I’m positive that every single one of has either watched a movie with some type of indication or even had a fellow classmate give a presentation on child soldiers and invisible children. It shouldn’t have taken a video to open our eyes, stir the government and take action. I’m obviously glad that people have woken up, but it makes me wonder how much more we are ignorant of or choose to ignore if the information isn’t shoved right under nose. Think about that.