In the last few days, I have observed some frenzied activity on Facebook about Joseph Kony, the founder leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The FB activity relates to a video titled 'Invisible Children', which has gone viral.
The LRA is a terror organisation, active in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Incidentally for the last seven years, I have been talking about the LRA and its terror activities as part of my talks on global terrorism; in fact, the last such talk took place on January 29 this year. But then it takes social media tools like FB to make Joseph Kony infamous.
Motivated by extreme Christian evangelism, Joseph Kony wants to set up a Christian State, i.e. turn Uganda into a theocracy, based on the Ten Commandments. In this manic pursuit, he and his cronies in the LRA have killed thousands of people and abducted hundreds of children who are used either as sex slaves or bonded labour or both.
The Hague Justice Portal has the following to say about Kony:
The LRA has been directing attacks against both the authorities and against civilian populations. It is alleged that in 2002 Joseph Kony ordered LRA forces to begin a campaign of attacks against civilians in Uganda. The LRA has since engaged in a cycle of violence and established a pattern of “brutalization of civilians” by acts including murder, abduction, sexual enslavement, mutilation, as well as mass burnings of houses and the looting of camp settlements.
An arrest warrant for Joseph Kony was issued by the International Criminal Court on 7 July 2005 and amended on 27 September 2005. Joseph Kony has been charged on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility with 12 counts of crimes against humanity and 21 counts of war crimes. He remains at large.Here is an interesting infographic from the Reuters blog on the history of the LRA.