Kony 2012 is a campaign by the charity organization Invisible Children to get Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader, Joseph Kony arrested by the year 2012. They want to achieve what has failed many including the mighty Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) in less than one year.
How do they plan on doing this?
What I agree with the Kony 2012 campaign
Yes Joseph Kony is an evil man and should be brought to book. The LRA and Joseph Kony have caused a lot of suffering many can not even imagine. The war has left many dead, families destroyed, many homeless, dreams crashed, and so many people in the affected region of Northern Uganda were left hopeless. The war received little attention from the world media compared to wars such as the Invasion of Iraq by G Bush and co. and many people of the world who could do something to end the conflict did not know about it. Many of those who knew simply chose to ignore. Though Joseph Kony and the LRA were flushed out of Uganda by the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF), they continue to cause havoc in Central Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They have to be stopped and the world should know them, what they have done and what they are capable of doing. The Kony 2012 campaign has a done a tremendous job in creating this awareness as more people who did not know about Joseph Kony and the LRA now know, and those who seem not to care before are beginning to care.
What I disagree with the Kony 2012 campaign
The Kony 2012 campaign lays a lot of emphasis on using military intervention. A lot of us do not agree with this option. The Kony 2012 video clearly shows that LRA has an army of child soldiers who were abducted from their families. Yes these child soldiers have caused a lot of havoc but under the command of Joseph Kony and his cronies in the LRA. These children need to be saved from the LRA which a military intervention may not achieve. In the past many children were saved through peace talks, military clashes only lead to massive deaths of these kids.
Even if a military intervention were to be inevitable, advocating for a military invasion by a foreign force, the USA in particular is very suspicious and must be condemned. The USA never engages in wars where they have no particular interests. A lot of oil has been discovered in the Albertine region that includes areas in Northern Uganda that were highly affected by the war. There are lots of minerals in the areas affected by the LRA insurgency both in Uganda, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic. A USA military invasion spells plunder and should be discouraged. Unfortunately the Barack Obama administration has already authorized one hundred fully armed military “advisors” to “help” one of the most powerful military forces on the African continent, the Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF) to pursue Joseph Kony and the LRA. We can only condemn the USA involvement and wish our resources shall be spared.
How the Kony 2012 video is misleading and negatively impacting on Uganda.
Uganda is located in East Africa NOT Central Africa
Over and over the narrator in the Kony 2012 video indicates that Uganda is located in Central Africa. It is totally untrue and so misleading. Uganda is located in the East of Africa and is among the five countries that make up the East African Community alongside Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. It is very important that this is well known because the Central Africa region is known for lots of negativities like wars which are absent in the East African region. Many countries around the world discourage their citizens from visiting the Central African region and carelessly including Uganda in that region set subjects the Pearl of Africa to the same negativity. Our country is bound to lose on foreign tourist flow because of such careless talk.
Joseph Kony and the LRA are NOT in Uganda
Secondly, though at some point the Kony 2012 video indicates Joseph Kony and the LRA moved out of Uganda, the video generally seems to portray Joseph Kony and the LRA are still in Uganda still abducting more children and still causing more havoc. This is because most of the scenes in the documentary were taken more than four years back when Joseph Kony and the LRA were still in Uganda. As a result many people around the world have got the impression that Joseph Kony and the LRA are still in Uganda, hence portraying Uganda as a war ravaged country which is totally untrue. Joseph Kony and the LRA are NOT in Uganda. Uganda is one of the most peace countries on the African continent and it is because of this that world online travel forum Lonely Planet declared Uganda the best travel destination for the year 2012. Kampla, the capital of Uganda has also been declared among the most secure cities in Africa.
Most of the scenes taken in Uganda should have shown what is actually currently on ground. The affected region in Northern Uganda is totally peaceful and undergoing massive post conflict reconstruction by the Uganda government of H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and several international Non Government Organizations (NGO) Invisible Children inclusive.
Ugandans/Africans are NOT helpless and NOT savages
Lastly the Kony 2012 video seems to portray Africans and Ugandans in particular to be totally helpless and require Mr. Jason Rusell, his toddler Gavin and a bunch of American teens/youths to come to their rescue. I should not be misunderstood or understood to be contradicting myself, I totally support the awareness campaign BUT it is so one sided and biased. There are so many local efforts that in the past have worked tireless to end the conflict. For instance several local politicians, cultural and religious leader and neighboring countries notably the Republic of Southern Sudan have organized peace talks to get the LRA stop the conflict. Thought they did not end the conflict, so many abducted children were saved as a result of the talks. Also it is the UPDF that cleared the Northern Uganda of the LRA rebels and have been pursuing them ever since with a hope of finally stopping them. All these deserved a mention in the video. We Africans are capable of stopping Joseph Kony and the LRA. Yes the world should know about the havoc the conflict has caused and that we need their support in so many ways to overcome this insurgency and rebuild the affected societies but we should not be portrayed as helpless on one side and as savages on the side because we are NONE of that.
Uganda Safaris Desk
African Adventure Travellers Ltd