Kony 2012 Controversy

Kony 2012 Controversy, “Kony 2012,” a YouTube video that has drawn 10 million views and celebrity support this week for advocating action against a Ugandan rebel leader is also drawing controversy from critics who say the video oversimplifies a complicated problem and may not help Uganda at all.

Grant Oyston, a political science student at Acadia University in Canada, wrote on the social media site tumblr.com that the group behind the viral video – Invisible Children – is problematic.

“Invisible Children has been condemned time and time again,” write Oyston, who does not dispute the crimes of rebel leader Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

He adds, “The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces.”

To prove the point, Oyston links to a photo of the non-profit’s principals, including filmmaker Jason Russell, brandishing weapons with Ugandan army troops.

Oyston also complains that the group targets Kony’s atrocities against children – kidnapping and forcing then to kill and mutilate opponents – while overlooking atrocities committed by the Ugandan army.

Oyston is not the only one with critical voice.

A lengthy piece in Foreign Affairs magazine in November lamented that Invisible Children and other similar groups “have manipulated facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil.”
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