A video created to raise awareness about vile militia leader Joseph Kony has now racked up more than 26million views since being posted on YouTube on March 5, and is being backed by a host of celebrities.
Kony is the leader of Ugandan military group the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and is wanted for committing crimes against humanity including rape, abduction and murder. For 26 years his rebel group has systematically kidnapped more than 30,000 African children — forcing girls to become sex slaves, brainwashing boys into becoming child soldiers and brutally killing those who don't comply. Now American activist group Invisible Children has created the half hour video, Kony 2012, in a bid to bring the dictator to justice.
Told through the eyes of Jacob, a former LRA child soldier, the documentary is set to make Kony "famous, not to celebrate him but to raise support for his arrest". The Ugandan army has been searching for Kony throughout Central Africa for years without luck. The US recently sent 100 special forces advisers to help out. But he still manages to evade the clutches of the International Criminal Court. Yesterday, "Kony 2012" and "Invisible Children" were trending worldwide on Twitter, with the 30-minute video being re-tweeted thousands of times.
Pop princess Rihanna tweeted: "#Kony2012 Spread the word!!!" and later, "PLEASE go to Invisiblechildren.com Even if its 10 minutes ... Trust me, you NEED to know about this! #1LOVE"
However, some have raised concerns about the organisation behind the video, criticising their spending practices and the film's approach as overly simplistic.
They also point out that the campaign calls on the public to pressure the US to continue working with the Ugandan army &;151; an organisation that has its own records of abuses.