PostPandemic: How COVID-19 is reshaping Canada Read More>
Manage Print Subscription
Hunt for Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony video goes viral
A documentary filmed aimed at making Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony known worldwide for his heinous acts, including the recruitment of child soldiers, has exploded online.
Allison Cross
Mar 07, 2012  •  March 7, 2012  •  2 minute read  • 
Join the conversation
A documentary film aimed at making Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony famous for his heinous acts, including the recruitment of child soldiers, has exploded online, drawing praise and contempt from millions of viewers.
Hunt for Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony video goes viral
The media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.
The half-hour film, made by the U.S. charity Invisible Children, was posted on YouTube and the charity’s website less than 48 hours ago and by Wednesday morning, had been viewed more than four million times.
The hashtag #StopKony was trending in the number one spot on Twitter in Canada and the U.S., as scores of users, including Justin Bieber, posted links to the film and encouraged others to get involved.
The film opens with a scene of filmmaker Jason Russell’s son’s birth, and then briefly documents the experience of a child soldier in Uganda named Jacob.
Justice will define 2012. #StopKony. — jenn duross (@jennduross) March 7, 2012
Honestly emotionally moved by the #stopkony video. Just watched again. — Brady Szuhaj (@bradyszuhaj) March 7, 2012
Mr. Kony is the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda and once led a violent bid to establish a theocratic government in the country. It was a bid that saw Ugandan children kidnapped and forced to fight as soldiers.Mr. Kony’s actions spread to South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan.
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Although he was indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in 2005, Mr. Kony has yet to be captured.
The film then goes on to document the charity’s efforts to have the U.S. intervene to stop the LRA.
“We’ve come so far but Kony is still out there,” says the narrator Jason Russell. “He’s recently changed his tactics, making it even more difficult to capture him.”
In order for the Ugandan government to find Mr. Kony, it needs the technology and training to track him in the jungle, the film says, which American advisers could provide. President Barack Obama announced he would send 100 U.S. troops last October.
Online praise has been heaped on Invisible Children for their film, but critics are also questioning the effectiveness of the awareness campaign, and the charity that made it.
Some have pointed out that few members of the Ugandan government will read Twitter, and that few of the tweets supporting the initiative are even coming from within African countries.
This whole #StopKony thing is so bloody disappointing. Of course a totally unethical, untrustworthy group is behind it. — El (@TheTomasRios) March 7, 2012
Kony is a monster. But if you really want to help child soldiers, give to a real charity like @WarChild or @MSF_USA — Scott Gilmore (@Scott_Gilmore) March 7, 2012
This idea that Ugandans or Congolese are passive, helpless, and need our voices to solve their problems is insane. — Laura Seay (@texasinafrica) March 7, 2012
“I do not doubt for a second that those involved in KONY 2012 have great intentions, nor do I doubt for a second that Joseph Kony is a very evil man,” wrote Grant Oyston, a sociology and political science student at Acadia University.
“But despite this, I’m strongly opposed to the KONY 2012 campaign.”
While Mr. Oyston admits Mr. Kona’s actions are heinous, he doesn’t trust Invisible Children’s motivations.
He cites a 2011 Foreign Affairs story that claims the charity has “manipulated facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil.”
National Post
Posted Newsletter
Sign up to receive the daily top stories from the National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
Email Address
By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300
Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.
NP Comment
Post Picks
Financial Post
The GrowthOp
My Account
Postmedia Network
Follow us
Give us some feedback!
365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4
© 2021 National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution, transmission or republication strictly prohibited.
Privacy - Updated Terms
Contact us
This website uses cookies to personalize your content (including ads), and allows us to analyze our traffic. Read more about cookies here. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.