Lecturer: Bobby Bailey
Date: 9 April 2012
A Decade in Pursuit of Kony
Joseph Rao Kony is the head of a Ugandan rebellion group called the Lord’s Resistance Army. As the leader of LRA, Kony has religious ties and beliefs to which he strongly adheres.His current span of operation includes the Democratic republic of Congo, South Sudan and part of Central African Republic.
Joseph Kony was indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court in 2005, but so far, he has been able to evade. In his attempt to rebel against the government, Kony later changed his tactics to increase the number of foot soldiers in his battalion to include children. An estimate would put the number of children soldiers at about 100,000. Whenever children were abducted to fight, their families were executed creating a dependency on Kony in order to survive. The mid 1990’s saw a strengthening of the LRA when the government of Sudan provided military support to this group in its bid to retaliate against the Ugandan government’s support for rebels in South Sudan.
Various states and organizations have attempted to end the murder and oppression in Central Africa. The Ugandan government has attempted to arrest Kony through the insurgency by recruiting former LRA combatants to help in the manhunt across Sudan, Central African Republic and Congo. The United States has had a greater contribution by first declaring LRA a terrorist group. In 2008, President Bush also made efforts to arm, finance and support their Ugandan military counterparts to flush Kony out but to no avail. More recently, President Obama assented a bill that sought to stifle the LRA and restore peace in Northern Uganda called the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. This Act authorized the dispatching of US combat troops into Central Africa to help regional forces in removing Kony. Lastly, the African Union also provided around 5,000 soldiers to hunt for Joseph Kony and isolate the remaining LRA groups.
In my opinion, all this coverage and exposure of crimes against humanity by Joseph Kony have earned him an infamous reputation, and he has featured in the world’s top ten most wanted list as a terrorist of international magnitude. However, the international community has done little in apprehending Joseph Kony and bringing an end to the terror and murder still commencing in Northern Uganda as we speak. I also think that The United States and other capable developed countries have resorted to petty shows of empathizing with the citizens of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, but they have not yet made any significant actions with regarding to ending his tyranny. In conclusion, a Human Rights Watch interview yielded information that, given the decent technology and the right people, Joseph Kony would be captured easily. However, I sincerely think the international community is not concerned with the state of affairs in Africa, or particularly in Congo, unless they have an interest in the affairs, be it economic, social or otherwise.