Uganda's Government Responds: Invisible Children, Kony 2012 Have Some Explaining to Do - Page 2
After reassuring those watching that the Uganda police and army forces have been working hand in hand with neighboring countries in finding and bringing Joseph Kony to justice, Prime Minister Mbabazi states that the Invisible Children video fails to make mention of one fact:
"Joseph Kony is no longer in Uganda."
For those that have largely received their information on Joseph Kony from the widely shared video, it's important to step back and take a breath, according to independent journalist Michael Wilkerson, who wrote a piece on March 7th, when the Kony 2012 video was in the early stages of it's viral share-fest. Wilkerson has lived in Uganda and covered it for a great deal of time, and stated in a guest post for ForeignPolicy.com:
"It would be great to get rid of Kony. He and his forces have left a path of abductions and mass murder in their wake for over 20 years. But let's get two things straight: 1) Joseph Kony is not in Uganda and hasn't been for 6 years; 2) the LRA now numbers at most in the hundreds, and while it is still causing immense suffering, it is unclear how millions of well-meaning but misinformed people are going to help deal with the more complicated reality."
Joseph Kony has not been in Uganda for six years. If an organization in 2012 made an incredibly moving, slick video showing you the suffering in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward immediately following 2005's Hurricane Katrina, how well would it do in raising funds for those still living there, if it spoke of the storm as though it happened earlier this morning? Not well, of course, because we know better. An effective message must be more than beautifully wrought. It must also be timely in nature, must keep in mind the feelings of those being helped, and obviously must state, accurately, what is going on now, or it must withstand the scrutiny (and possibly even the ire) of those being discussed (and who've provided monies).
This last Tuesday, Invisible Children held a special screening of their Internet hit for the residents of Lira, in northern Uganda, who overwhelmingly do not have access to the web. The result? The organizers were chased out by the very victims they sought to champion help for, with rocks hurled at them in disgust.
"People were very angry about the film," said Victor Ochen, director of the African Youth Initiative Network (Ayinet), a local charity, who had worked to arrange the viewing. "They were all saying, 'This is not about us, it does not reflect our lives'." Residents also responded in outrage to find that Invisible Children had been marketing colorful t-shirts and bracelets prominently highlighting the name of the very man whose armies had killed and maimed so many of their relatives and loved ones, had raped their daughters and stolen their boys. "How can anybody expect me to wear a T-shirt with Kony's name on it?," said one young man who had attended the screening.Continued on the next page