The sudden public emergence of a little-known war criminal named Joseph Kony has created a storm of angry dialogue, suspicious side-eyeing, and an endless stream of online chitchatter the likes of which we haven’t seen since Barack Obama ran for President of the United States in 2008.
For those that follow us on Twitter, you witnessed some of the angry rhetoric that soapbox super-heroes have aimed in our direction.
Clearly, Joseph Kony is an atrocious human being and the word “criminal” doesn’t even BEGIN to describe the types of activities he’s been involved in.
However, there are a whole host of people that do not wholeheartedly believe in the sudden and overwhelming campaign that has sprung up over the past week.
Even those who actually LIVE in Uganda have doubts about the latest social cause phenomena.
Says Ugandan journalist Angelo Opi-Aiya Izama:
‘To call the campaign a misrepresentation is an understatement. While it draws attention to the fact that Kony, indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in 2005, is still on the loose, its portrayal of his alleged crimes in Northern Uganda are from a bygone era. At the height of the war between especially 1999 and 2004, large hordes of children took refuge on the streets of Gulu town to escape the horrors of abduction and brutal conscription to the ranks of the LRA. Today most of these children are semi-adults. Many are still on the streets unemployed. Gulu has the highest numbers of child prostitutes in Uganda. It also has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.
If six years ago children in Uganda would have feared the hell of being part of the LRA, a well documented reality already, today the real invisible children are those suffering from “Nodding Disease”. Over 4000 children are victims of this incurable debilitating condition. It’s a neurological disease that has baffled world scientists and attacks mainly children from the most war affected districts of Kitgum, Pader and Gulu.’
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