If you haven’t yet heard of Joseph Kony, you are not alone. Here is a brief overview of one of the most revered men in the world.
Jospeh Kony is a 47 year old Ugandan war criminal. He is the leader of the guerilla group the LRA or the Lord’s Resistance Army. Kony is the world’s number one most wanted fugitive according to Forbes, ahead of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the new leader of Al-Queda.
Kony was born in Uganda, the youngest of six children. His parents were by no means wealthy, but were well educated. Joseph Kony was raised religiously. He served under his father as an altar boy, before ceasing to attend church at age 15. He is a huge soccer fan, and one of the best dancers of the Larakaraka in the world. It has also speculated that he enjoys wearing women’s dresses. He held a post as a witch doctor, using potions and claiming to be a spiritual master.
Kony became involved in violence in 1986. Twenty-six years later, he is one of the most powerful terrorists in the world. Kony commands an army of around 70,000 soldiers. His reach has extended throughout much of Africa including South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. He has displaced over two millions people from their homes. He claims that his resistance movement is following the tenets of the Ten Commandments. He is said to have fathered over 40 children with 60 wives.
The scary thing about Kony is that most of his army he abducts as youths. As an initiation tactic, he forces them to kill their parents so that they are left with no other option but to join him. Kony is quick to sacrifice members who are weak, leaving them to die or using them as decoys on the front lines. He often mutilates his victims, and kidnaps women as sex slaves. This type of behavior may be happening in other countries worldwide, but Kony has seen a long reign of terror and is recognized as one of the most dangerous individuals on the planet.
Kony claims to be able to communicate with spirits from the afterlife, and claims to be following their words with his actions. Kony rarely appears in public, and his devout followers swear that he is a prophet. Many believe that Kony is possessed by the devil. Kony is rumored to be able to withstand extreme pain and survive in adverse conditions. He is said to have climbed to the highest peaks in Uganda and laid in the sun for days. He is said to have secluded himself in caves for weeks. He rubs oils on himself, and tells his army that the action protects them from harm.
In 2005, Kony was indicted by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity including murder, enslavement, pillaging, and rape. The U.S. has since assisted financially and logistically to capture Kony to no avail. In October of 2011, President Obama authorized the deployment of 100 combat ready troops to Uganda to assist the local military in the hunt for Kony. Obama noted that, “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.”
Kony is at-large and is difficult to track down in the uncharted terrain of central Africa. The Ugandan Army currently has a bounty on Kony’s head of $11,000. U.S. filmmaker Jason Russell has seen the wrath of Kony first-hand, and made a promise to a young Ugandan who had his life turned upside down by Kony. Russell has vowed to do anything in his power to bring Kony down. A worldwide awareness campaign has begun, with the goal of making Kony’s face as famous as a celebrities. Russell claims that if people know about the injustices that Kony is committing, there’s a greater chance that we can bring him down. To lend your voice or financial support, visit www.Kony2012.com and definitely watch the video below.
It’s amazing what the world can accomplish when communicating and working together as one.
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