KONY2012 comes to campus

    Ask anyone who doesn’t regularly visit Facebook about the name Kony and they are likely to tell you, “It’s not a ‘who,’ it’s a hotdog with chili on it.”
    If you ask those who do access Facebook about Kony, they will tell you that his name is Joseph Kony and he is the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a long-time guerrilla group out of Uganda.
    However, most people do not understand the need to get this man behind bars and some could not pinpoint where Uganda is located or why it would be important for United States citizens to care.
    So what is Kony 2012?
    Kony received a huge surge in attention in March 2012, when a 20-minute video went viral on YouTube entitled KONY2012.
    The film, produced by film maker Jason Russell, from the campaign group Invisible Children, Inc., was created to draw attention to Kony in an effort to increase US involvement of the issue.
    The video, viewed more than 80 million times as of March 17, has remained a hit button topic around the world.
    The goal of KONY2012 is not to make Kony famous in a good way, but to make him infamous to flush him out and bring him to justice. The power of the people has been heard since the night of April 20 when across the world, posters went up bearing Kony’s name.
    MCCC’s International Studies Club along with the help of Student Government placed Kony posters on campus and around the county of Monroe.
    The initiative for MCCC and Monroe County is called “MCCC COVERS THE NIGHT 2012.”
    MCCC IS Club posters had information for the public to glean more information from the International
    Kony claims himself to be “the spokesperson of God, and states a multinational host of thirteen spirits, including a Chinese phantom had visited him” per an article written by Daniel Howden in November 2008.
    The captured children are brainwashed and then ordered to go back and murder their own family members, thus sealing their fate to rely on the LRA for life.
    Kony was indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands in 2005, but had evaded capture. The LRA operates in the Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan.
    In October 2005, the International Criminal court announced that arrest warrants had been issued for five members of the LRA for crimes against humanity following a sealed indictment.
    After the 9/11 attacks, the United States declared the LRA as a terrorist group, and on August 28, 2008, the United States Treasury Dept placed Kony on its list of “Specially Designated Global Terrorists,” a designation that carries financial and other penalties.
    In 2008, President George W. Bush personally signed the directive to the United States Africa Command to provide financial and logistical help to the Ugandan government during their unsuccessful Operation Lightening Thunder. No US troops were directly involved, but 17 US advisers and analysts provided intelligence, equipment, and fuel to Ugandan military counterparts. The only success that Operation Lightening Thunder saw was the rescue of 100 children.
    In May 2010, President Barack Obama signed into the law the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. This legislation is aimed at stopping Kony and the LRA. The bill passed unanimously in the US Senate on March 11, and in may 2012, a motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill was agreed to by a voice vote in the House of Representatives.
    November 2012, President Obama delivered a strategy document to Congress, asking or more funding to disarm Kony and the LRA, and in October 2012, he authorized the deployment of approximately 100 combat-equipped US troops to central Africa with the goal to help regional forces remove Kony and senior LRA leaders from the battlefield.