The viral Kony 2012 video has propelled the Lord’s Resistance Army and its leader, Joseph Kony, into the world’s spotlight and conscience. On YouTube alone, more than 56 million people viewed it in its first four days.
As the video created by Invisible Children shows, the LRA has created an enormous human rights and humanitarian crisis in central and east Africa. The LRA, which began as a rebel group in Uganda, evolved into a brutal renegade force that has abducted tens of thousands of civilians, forcing them to serve as soldiers or sex slaves, has killed tens of thousands and has displaced more than 2 million in four African nations: Uganda, newly independent South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
The message of the Kony 2012 campaign is simple: Arrest Kony. But the campaign also sets out what the United States government needs to do, in partnership with other members of the international community and civil society groups in Africa, to make this happen.