The group Invisible Children Inc. has gained global coverage because of their Kony 2012 campaign but in one African nation, their viral video is being met with anger.
The upcoming screenings of their films, part of a screening tour, have since been cancelled in Uganda.
In 2005 a group of young American film makers traveled to Uganda coming face to face with the reality of children soldiers. They produced a video that recently has gone viral about the man behind the LRA, Joseph Kony. The aim is to make Kony so famous that he will be caught and handed over to the ICC. There was to be a series of screenings for those who do not have Internet access within Uganda put on by the African Youth Initiative Network.
At the time Kony was in northern Uganda, which features in the video. Seven years later Kony has moved past the Uganda border into Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kony left Uganda a year after the video was first made. Uganda has entered into one of their most peaceful periods.
Those in Uganda believe that restoration of those who suffered because of Kony is what should be the focus. Instead of celebrating a criminal the priority needs to be for rebuilding the communities that were destroyed and working to rehabilitate his victims.
The first screening of the video took place in Lira in northern Uganda. It was met with anger and frustration from many of the 5,000 who had gathered in a town park to watch the video projected onto a white sheet.
“If you care for us the victims, you will respect our feelings and acknowledge how hurting it is for us to see you mobilizing the world to make Kony famous, the guy who is the world most wanted criminal,” one of Kony's victims is quoted in a press release from AYINET (the African Youth InitiativeNetwork) a Ugandan NGO.
There is no question that Joseph Kony is a man who should pay for his crimes against humanity. However the current movement would put civilians in danger in the pursuit of a monster say those that live in Uganda.
Those who attended the first screening felt that it was an insult that though the film was about Uganda it was dominated by those from other nations.