Joseph Kony MUST be CAPTURED – Join the Struggle
HollywoodNews.com: A former Catholic altar boy from northern Uganda, Joseph Kony has waged war against the government for almost two decades.
Joseph Kony is one of the world’s worst war criminals and we support the international effort to arrest him, disarm the lRa and bring the child soldiers home. Joseph Kony (born c. 1961) is a Ugandan guerrilla group leader, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a group engaged in a violent campaign to establish theocratic government throughout Uganda. Kony claims that the campaign is based on the Ten Commandments. The LRA is a militant group with a syncretic Christian extreme religious ideology. They are known for the extreme atrocities they commit against civilians, including murder, mutilations, rape, and in some accounts even cannibalism. Directed by Kony, the LRA has earned a reputation for its actions against the people of several countries, including northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Sudan. It has abducted and forced an estimated 66,000 children to fight for them, and has forced the internal displacement of over 2 million people since its rebellion began in 1986. In 2005 Kony was indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, but has evaded capture.
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Kony was born c. 1961 in Odek, a village east of Gulu in northern Uganda. He is a member of the Acholi people. The son of farmers, he enjoyed a good relationship with his siblings, but was quick to retaliate in a dispute, and when confronted he would often resort to physical violence. His father was a lay catechist of the Catholic Church and his mother was an Anglican. Kony was an altar boy for several years, but he stopped attending church around the age of 15. As a teenager Kony apprenticed as the village witch doctor under his older brother, Jamie Brow, and when his older brother died, Kony took over the position. He did not graduate from high school. Kony first came to prominence in January 1986 as the leader of one of the many premillennialist groups that sprang up in Acholiland in the wake of the wildly popular Holy Spirit Movement of Alice Auma (also known as Lakwena), to whom Kony is thought to be related. Their relative loss of influence after the overthrow of Acholi President Tito Okello by Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Army (NRA) during the Ugandan Bush War (1981–1986) spurred resentment among the Acholi, which boosted Joseph Kony’s popularity.
Lord’s Resistance Army
Ugandan districts affected by Lords Resistance Army
* Lord’s Resistance Army
* Holy Spirit Movement
* Alice Auma
* Joseph Kony
* ICC investigation
Originally, Kony’s group was called the United Holy Salvation Army (UHSA) and was not perceived as a threat by the NRA. By 1988, it had became a major player in Ugandan affairs: an agreement between the NRA and the Uganda People’s Democratic Army left members of the latter group unsatisfied, and many joined the United Holy Salvation Army as a form of rebellion. One such person was Commander Odong Latek, who convinced Kony to use standard military tactics instead of attacking in cross-shaped formations and sprinkling holy water. The new tactics proved successful, and the UHSA delivered several small but stinging defeats against the NRA. After these victories, the NRA responded by significantly weakening Kony’s group through political actions and a military campaign named Operation North. The operation was devastating to what would become the Lord’s Resistance Army, and with their numbers reduced from thousands to hundreds, they engaged in retaliatory attacks on civilians and NRA collaborators. The LRA say that spirits have been sent to communicate this mission directly to Kony.
The bulk of Kony’s foot soldiers were children. Whilst estimates of the number of children conscripted since 1986 vary, some put the figure as high as 104,000. When abducting the children, Kony and his army often killed their family and neighbors, thus leaving the children with little choice but to fight for him.
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By 1992 Kony had renamed the group the United Democratic Christian Army and it was at this time that they kidnapped 44 girls from the Sacred Heart Secondary and St. Mary’s girls schools.
For a decade starting in the mid-1990s, the LRA was strengthened by military support from the government of Sudan, which was retaliating against Ugandan government support for rebels in what would become South Sudan. Sudan withdrew its support for the LRA shortly after the ICC issued a warrant for Kony’s arrest, however.
Betty Bigombe remembered that the first time she met Kony, his followers used oil to ward off bullets and evil spirits. In a letter regarding future talks, Kony stated that he must consult the Holy Spirit. When the talks did occur, they insisted on the participation of religious leaders and opened the proceedings with prayers, led by LRA’s Director of Religious Affairs Jenaro Bongomi. During the 1994 peace talks, Kony was preceded by men in robes sprinkling holy water.
Kony was thought among followers and detractors alike to have been possessed by spirits; he has been portrayed as either the Messiah or the Devil. He reportedly made annual trips to the Ato Hills in Uganda. He would allegedly ascend to the highest of the hills and lie down in the hot sun for days. He would be covered by a blanket of red termites that bit deeply into his skin. Oil from the Yao plant was spread over his body. Then he would enter a cave and stay in seclusion for weeks. Kony believes in the literal protection provided by a cross symbol and tells his child soldiers a cross on their chest drawn in oil will protect them from bullets. Kony insists that he and the Lord’s Resistance Army are fighting for the Ten Commandments. He defends his actions: “Is it bad? It is not against human rights. And that commandment was not given by Joseph. It was not given by LRA. No, those commandments were given by God.”
Main article: International Criminal Court investigation in Uganda
On October 6, 2005, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that arrest warrants had been issued for five members of the Lord’s Resistance Army for crimes against humanity following a sealed indictment. On the next day Ugandan defense minister Amama Mbabazi revealed that the warrants include Kony, his deputy Vincent Otti, and LRA commanders Raska Lukwiya, Okot Odiambo, and Dominic Ongwen. According to spokesmen for the military, the Ugandan army killed Lukwiya on August 12, 2006. The BBC received information that Otti had been killed on October 2, 2007, at Kony’s home.
On October 13, 2005, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo released details on Kony’s indictment. There are 33 charges; 12 counts are crimes against humanity, including murder, enslavement, sexual enslavement, and rape. Another 21 counts of war crimes include murder, cruel treatment of civilians, intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population, pillaging, inducing rape, and forced enlisting of children into the rebel ranks. Ocampo said that “Kony was abducting girls to offer them as rewards to his commanders.”
On July 31, 2006, Kony met with several cultural, political, and religious leaders from northern Uganda at his hideout in the Congolese forests to discuss the war. The following day, he crossed the border into Sudan to speak with Southern Sudan Vice President Riek Machar. Kony later told reporters that he would not be willing to stand trial at the ICC because he had not done anything wrong.
On November 12, 2006, Kony met Jan Egeland, the United Nations Undersecretary-General for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief. Kony told Reuters: “We don’t have any children. We only have combatants.”
Action against Kony
The Ugandan military has attempted to kill Kony throughout the insurgency. In Uganda’s latest attempt to track Kony down, former LRA combatants have been enlisted to search remote areas of the Central African Republic, the Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo where he was last seen. After the September 11th attacks, the United States declared the Lord’s Resistance Army a terrorist group.On August 28, 2008, the United States Treasury Department placed Kony on its list of “Specially Designated Global Terrorists”, a designation that carries financial and other penalties. It is not known whether Kony has any assets that are affected by this designation.
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In 2008, the United States military assisted financially and logistically during the unsuccessful Garamba Offensive, code-named Operation Lightning Thunder. No US troops were directly involved, but US advisers and analysts provided intelligence, equipment, and fuel to Ugandan military counterparts.Though the offensive may have pushed Kony from his jungle camp, he was not captured.
In May 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, legislation aimed at stopping Kony and the LRA. The bill passed unanimously in the United States Senate on March 11. On May 12, 2010, a motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill was agreed to by voice vote (two-thirds being in the affirmative) in the House of Representatives. In November Obama delivered a strategy document to Congress, asking for more funding to disarm Kony and the LRA. In October 2011, Obama authorized the deployment of approximately 100 combat-equipped U.S. troops to central Africa. Their goal is to help regional forces remove Kony and senior LRA leaders from the battlefield. “Although the U.S. forces are combat-equipped, they will only be providing information, advice, and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense,” Obama said in a letter to Congress.
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Read more: http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2012/03/08/why-you-should-feel-awkward-about-the-kony2012-video/?iid=sl-main-mostpop2#ixzz1oZsF7o80
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