The 29-minute video Kony 2012 exposes the shocking abuse inflicted on Ugandans by rebel militant Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda. For more than a quarter of a century, Kony and the LRA have been making the lives of thousands of Ugandan children hell.
The video, produced by San Diego–based Invisible Children Inc., also explores the organization's efforts to stop Kony.
"For 26 years, Kony has been kidnapping children into his rebel group, the LRA," the video's narrator says. "He's been turning girls into sex slaves, and the boys into child soldiers. He makes them mutilate people's faces, and he forces them to kill their own parents. And this is not just a few children — it's been over 30,000 of them."
Invisible Children's work began in 2005, but this campaign of awareness is relatively new. Nearly 15 million people have watched the sobering video since Invisible Children uploaded it two days ago. According to the time of this writing, #stopkony is trending on Twitter worldwide and in the U.S.
The narrator reports that Kony's only cause is to maintain power. Kony has gained the attention of the International Criminal Court in Hague, but he remains at large. In October 2011, President Obama sent troops to find Kony.
"Our forces will provide information, advice and assistance to select partner nation forces," Obama said. "Subject to the approval of each respective host nation, elements of these U.S. forces will deploy into Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The support provided by U.S. forces will enhance regional efforts against the LRA. "
These efforts did not result in the capture of Kony.
The narrator of Kony 2012 says that the goal now is awareness — widespread awareness of what's happening — which he hopes will lead to sufficient technology, funding, personnel, assistance, and eventually, Kony's capture.
"Let's show this movie to as many people as possible," he says.
It's a 2012 approach and so far it appears to be working.
Update: Although it's unanimous that Kony is a madman, it appears there's reason to be skeptical of Invisible Children Inc. Critics have questioned its financials, strategy for capturing Kony, and charity navigator rating, among other things. Invisible Children itself has issued a response to "false or misleading information" about its efforts.