Who Is Joseph Kony? Joseph Kony was born in the 1960s in the Ugandan village of Odek. Those close to him during his childhood paint the picture of a normal boy who served as an altar boy at church and played sports. So, who is Joseph Kony who has become a household name in the United States?
He is a notorious warlord in central Africa. His group of militant rebels are known for horrendous crimes against civilians in the region.
Many sources say that the militant group is responsible for many murders and kidnappings as well as amputations and the disfigurement of civilians. Some say that Kony’s group would kidnap the children of a family and kill the rest of the family.
He told a reporter who filmed him that the goals of his group of guerilla fighters was for the freedom of the people of Uganda. He mentioned that he wants the people in Uganda to be able to have democracy and elect their leaders.
His crimes against the people who he says he is trying to help seem to contradict his stated motivation. He has repeatedly attacked civilians in remote villages and kidnapped numerous children for his own use which does not seem to reflect a focus on the goal of democracy.
The victims of his violence do not seem to have any power to affect the government of Uganda. Therefore, it appears as if he has a different agenda than the one he claims to have.
Kony may have been introduced into the life of a rebel leader by a relative. A former prostitute and possibly a cousin to Kony had created a rebel group known as the Holy Spirit Movement.
The leader of this group, Alice Lakwena, told people that the Holy Spirit would guide her and protect her followers. When the leader of the Holy Spirit Movement fled to Kenya, Kony founded the Lord’s Resistance Army. He told his followers that the Holy Spirit now guided him.
He preaches to his followers. Joseph Kony instructs them to follow certain religious rituals such as making crosses with oil on their foreheads, chests, and guns before fighting. This ritual is believed to help prevent the fighters from dying. The people believe they will die while fighting if they fail to draw these crosses with oil.
People believe that Kony may have over sixty wives that he chose from girls that the group captured though the exact number of wives is unknown. Other men of high rank in his organization may have numerous kidnapped wives as well.
Joseph Kony’s war crimes have not escaped the attention of the International Criminal Court (ICC). There is a warrant for his arrest due to an indictment for thirty-three war crimes.
At one time, Kony was negotiating peace with Uganda. Kony’s deputy, Vincent Otti, was handing the peace negotiations. However, Otti died of mysterious circumstances during the negotiations. Some people believe Kony ordered Otti to be killed, because Kony was unhappy with the peace deal.
Though Kony is in hiding, he continues to be a threat to the people of central Africa. However, most agree that the height of his regime has long passed. Still, some reports speculate that Kony is responsible for attacks in the Congo in 2012.
Critics of the media attention directed at the violent warlord say that the biggest threats in Uganda are diseases like malaria. Kony was chased out of Uganda several years ago. It was believed that he had fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
People in Uganda accused the Congo of impeding the search for Joseph Kony. The Democratic Republic of Congo declares that Kony has been chased out of the country and no longer poses a threat in the Congo.
While many people applaud the U.S.-based Invisible Children charity for raising awareness about this guerilla violence, many criticize their publicity for not making it clear that Kony has been driven out of Uganda. Also, it remains unclear to the audience how the charity in the United States can use donations to aid in the capture of the warlord on the run in central Africa.
Whether the charity’s motives are pure, reckless, or selfish, the charity has successfully focused attention to the activities of the violent warlord in hiding. Now that the people of America know who is Joseph Kony, the new question is, “How will he be brought to justice?”