Ugandans get first taste of Kony video – and don't like it
Thursday 15 March 2012
Few faces evoke more hatred and fear in northern Uganda than Joseph Kony, one of Africa's most wanted men whose brutal legacy was thrust back into the spotlight by a hugely popular US video.
But at the first screening in northern Uganda on Tuesday of the 30-minute YouTube video produced by a California-based charity, many of Kony's victims were furious, arguing that their suffering was being exploited in a video that featured very few Ugandans.
A wave of anger swept over 27-year-old Isaac Omodo as he stared at fuzzy images of young boys mutilated by the rebel warlord whose drugged and vicious fighters abducted Mr Omodo's brother at the height of raids by Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in 2001. "Why are we being reminded? I feel bad. We want to just forget all about Kony and the LRA madness," said Mr Omodo, whose brother is still missing.
He was among thousands who gathered to watch the screening of the video, which has been seen by more than 77 million people. It has attracted endorsements from celebrities such as George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey in its quest to press for Kony's capture.
However, the campaign behind the video, which is the work of the little-known Invisible Children charity, has met with a sceptical backlash from some quarters. Critics say it oversimplifies a long-standing human rights crisis.
In Lira, a town still haunted by Kony's atrocities, disappointment and scorn filled many watching the scratchy images. Some jeered as the projection neared its end and scuffles broke out as simmering frustrations boiled over.
"Why didn't they use the real victims in this film?" asked Okello Jifony, who was forced to fight under Kony for 18 months. He was referring to the shots of the filmmaker Jason Russell's young son, who appears throughout the clip.
"Why make Kony famous? It baffles them," said Victor Ochen, director for African Youth Initiative Network, the charity behind the showing.
The present whereabouts of the former warlord are unknown. A Congolese general has rebuffed reports that Kony is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, saying on Tuesday that it was likely he had fled to the neighbouring Central African Republic.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Ellen DeGeneres leads Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany in revealing game of Never Have I Ever
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...