Tuesday, March 20, 2012

BBC: Kony victims back online campaign

Joseph Kony victims back online campaign

Members of the Arrow boys in South Sudan  
Some South Sudanese have already taken up arms against Kony and the LRA
With a controversial US film putting the spotlight on Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army, the BBC's James Copnall reports on those in South Sudan and Uganda who believe he must be captured or killed at all costs.

In a refugee camp in the shade of giant mango trees, a Congolese man called Jean-Roger is calling for US soldiers to capture the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, Joseph Kony.

"We need a military intervention. [President Barack] Obama must make an effort to finish with Kony," he says in a firm voice.

"The LRA has killed a lot of people, and raped a lot of women, and they kidnap children to train them to become like them. They must be stopped."

The recent Kony 2012 film, which has been viewed millions of times, has attracted criticism for simplifying the problem of the LRA.

But Jean-Roger and other victims believe the only thing that matters is to stop the rebel movement.

There are more than 5,000 refugees in the Makpandu camp in South Sudan, the majority from the Democratic Republic of Congo, others from the Central African Republic.

Those are the two countries where the LRA now operates, though its fighters - many of whom are children - sometimes launch raids into South Sudan too. 

'World must act'

Another refugee, Modeste, a grey-haired man with a bright floral shirt, also wants foreign troops to help out.

His four daughters, aged between five and 14, were kidnapped when the LRA attacked his village in DR Congo.

"I think they must be dead," he says simply, perhaps not wanting to voice the other, horrifying prospect - that they have been kept as sex slaves.

"I want governments all over the world to act, we must finish the LRA. The world should get enough forces to attack, and kill all of them," he says.

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