“Kony 2012″, the 30-minute video produced by the group Invisible Children, quickly became a viral sensation when it was posted online last week. By this morning it had been viewed nearly 73 million times on YouTube. Invisible Children has been both praised for their incredible social media marketing savvy and criticized for taking what some see as a narrow view on a complicated issue. The group is poised to release another video today to answer critics, according to a CNN story.
Either way, “Kony 2012” has raised the attention of the world regarding Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army.
US Africa Command does not endorse nor is it affiliated with Invisible Children.
AFRICOM does, however, welcome this increased awareness about the Lord’s Resistance Army and the history of atrocities and destabilizing role the LRA has played in Central Africa for decades. We will continue to work with Congress, the Department of State, the Department of Defense and interested advocacy groups to end the LRA threat.
Click on the links below for more on AFRICOM’s involvement in efforts to counter the LRA, a comprehensive National Defense University paper on the LRA, as well as various takes on “Kony 2012” from around the web.
And as always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section of this post, as well as links to other resources you think might be helpful and informative.
FACT Sheet: U.S. Military Support to African Efforts to Counter the Lord’s Resistance Army, from the US AFRICOM home page: “We are an enabling force to facilitate and advance the capabilities of the African forces.”
“U.S. Continues Support for Central Africa as it Counters LRA threat,” from the US AFRICOM home page: “In the long run, it is Africans who are best-suited to address African security matters,” Rear Admiral Brian L. Losey said. “In this case, four nations decided that they wanted to work together to address a common security challenge, and we’re glad to help.”
“U.S. Command Fights Terrorists on African Soil,” audio and transcript of National Public Radio interview with AFRICOM’s commander Gen. Carter F. Ham: “They have caused the displacement of many tens of thousands of people. They’ve disrupted economies. They’ve disrupted good governance. They undermine regional stability. And that’s why we’re concerned.”
“Countering the Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa,” National Defense University paper by senior research fellow Andre Le Sage:
“Joseph Kony: Brutal Warlord Who Shocked the World,” CNN profile on the LRA leader: “If Kony attracted supporters through his ‘mystical powers’ and charisma, he kept them through fear.”
“The Controversy Over Kony 2012,” one Washington Post writer’s view on the video and the efforts against the LRA: “The effort to capture or kill Kony is one of the least controversial, most thoroughly multilateral, objectives in the world. But that has not prevented a few people from trying to stir controversy.”
“Kony 2012: The Anatomy of a Viral Campaign,” the Washington Post on how a 30-minute video took the social media world by storm: “To get the campaign off the ground quickly, the group had users send messages to 20 ‘culturemakers’ and 12 ‘policymakers’ with influential Twitter accounts urging them to support the effort.”