Thursday, 8 March 2012

Joseph Kony

Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). He has no cause and is not supported by anyone and only wanted to maintain his power. He had kidnapped over 33000 children and turned boys into child soldiers and girls into sex slaves. Millions of people had been displaced since the civil war. Kidnapped children were forced to kill their parents and Kony had faces mutilated to make everyone fearful of him. Kony constantly used peace talks as a distraction to rearm and strike again. When the International Criminal Court was formed in 2002, Kony was first on the list of arrest warrants by ICC. He is wanted for crimes against humanity and civil population including murder, sex slavery, rape and kidnappings.The LRA is a christian rebel group fighting for the 10 commandments to rule the Uganda.

There had been a campaign to stop Kony after an American film maker visited Uganda and saw the atrocities of war. The campaign spreaded nationwde around the US and eventually, Barack Obama decided to send troops to advise and train the Ugandan Army to fight the LRA. When Kony found out about the US aid, he changed his tactics to avoid capture. Kony 2012 is designed to make him famous and increase the worldwide support towards his arrest via the internet. With so many people using the internet, the Kony 2012 campaign had spread rapidly worldwide just like the 2009 Iran protests and the Arab spring. Famous celebrities and politicians (both Republicans and Democrats) have been targeted in the hope that they too will spread the message of the campaign to bring Kony to justice.

The US troops sent to advise the Ugandan Army are the Green Berets or the US Army Special Forces. Unlike the Navy SEALs who specialise in maritime operations (eg - diving and SWCC teams), the Green Berets specialised in force multiplying. They were well known for their efforts in Vietnam in training and advising the South Vietnamese Army during President JFK's time. After the selection course, Green Berets attend the JFK Special Warfare Centre and School where they learn a variety of courses but the most well known course is the foreign language course. By doing this course, Green Berets are able to learn and master a foreign language and culture (eg- knowing local sign language). This course will enable to the Green Berets to train foreign militaries/militias which is force multiplying.