Meet Joseph Kony, one of the most villainous criminals on the planet. This Ugandan terrorist is founder of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a anti-government group that is responsible for forcing thousands girls into prostitution and turning young boys into brain-washed child soldiers for his so-called “Christian movement.”
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There is a robust Twitter campaign trending around a documentary, “Invisible Children,” that is raising awareness about the severely cruel tactics Kony is using to terrorize his native Uganda, as well as parts of Congo and Sudan.
NewsOne has put together a list of points you need to know about him.
1) In October, the United States sent 100 military personnel, mostly special forces, to train and advise Ugandan forces to fight against the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) Source [msnbc.com]
2) The LRA operates out of Uganda, Congo and Sudan. Ugandan forces were once stationed in The Congo to fight the LRA, but were ordered out by the Congolese government for political reasons. The dearth of any real military threat gave the Congolese branch of the LRA a valuable sanctuary for its forces to continue its terrorist activities virtually unchecked. Source [The Washington Post]
3) Joseph Kony is influenced by his late cousin, Alice Lakwana, founder of the “Holy Spirit Mobile Forces.” Lakwena founded the HSMF to overthrow the Ugandan government. Believing she was chosen by God to purify Uganda, Lakwena told her armed followers that use of her ‘Holy Oil’ would protect them from enemy bullets. In 1988, her forces were within striking distance of Kampala, Uganda’s capital, before being defeated by government forces. She then fled to Kenya and died in 2007. Kony then started the LRA. Source [BBC]
4) Mutilation is a typical tactic of the LRA. Rather than kill their victims, they often cut off their lips, noses and ears. It is a fear tactic used to discourage civilians from speaking out against him. Source[BBC]
5) Outside support is believed to keep the LRA from being defeated. South Sudan, for example, believes that the LRA is supported by their northern enemy, Sudan. South Sudan separated from Sudan last year amid decades of civil war and well-documented cases of human rights abuses from forces supported by Khartoum’s central government. Source [BBC]
6) Kony is reported to have as many as 60 wives.
7) He is responsible for more than 300,000 Congolese being displaced in the northeastern portion of the country as a result of his terrorism activities. [ABC News,]
8) Kony is believed to have enslaved more than 60,000 children. The boys are trained to be soldiers, while the girls are forced into prostitution. [Wikipedia]
9) The LRA believes that their mission to overthrow the government is based on Christian principles. His followers believe he is a prophet. He is reportedly believed to consider himself a “prophet possessed by spirits and to believe in the power of the Christian cross and holy oil to protect him and his fighters from physical harm.” Source [Al Jazeera English]
10) The International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted Kony and other senior members of the LRA in October of 2005. Kony In 2007, Kony said he would disband his army and sign a Peace Accord with the Ugandan government but backed out of the agreement because he said he needed more time to “talk to Ugandan elders and contemplate the war crimes charges brought by the International Criminal Court in 2005.” Source [NY Times, ICC]