Sunday, November 21, 2010

Who Is Joseph Kony?

WARNING: The following material is not appropriate for young or sensitive minds...

Joseph Kony was born in 1961 in Odek, a village east of Gulu in northern Uganda. According to Wikipedia, "Kony was the son of farmers. He was friendly to his siblings, but if they crossed him he came down hard on them. During his teenage years, Joseph Kony apprenticed as the village witch doctor under his older brother, Benon Okello. When his older brother died, he took over full responsibility. When confronted, he often resorted to his fists rather than parrying verbally. He was teased in school about his size and the teachers gave him a hard time because he didn't seem too bright. His father was a lay apostle of the Catholic Church and his mother was an Anglican. Kony was an altar boy for several years. He stopped attending church at about the age of 15. A high-school dropout, Kony first came to prominence in January 1986, in his mid 20s."

It was at this time that he formed an "army", consisting mostly of children soldiers. Later named the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), he recruits his unwilling troops by attacking villages in Uganda, as well as Kenya, Sudan, the Central African Republic and the neighboring Bas Uele district of northern Democratic Republic of Congo. The attacks occur mostly at night, catching sleeping families off-guard. They typically kill the adults and abduct the children, forcing them to fight for him. And the attacks on the adults aren't just with a gun shot to the head. They suffer violent deaths, cutting his victims to pieces with machetes. The children he kidnaps are then beaten, and starved nearly to death. This is his way of brainwashing his new soldiers - forcing them to kill and do unthinkable things in order to not be beaten and receive a small amount of food to eat and live. The girls are also forced to become sex slaves and often marry his older commanders.

Kony is believed to be in hiding in the southern part of Sudan. Attacks by the LRA have lessened within the last few years; however, there does seem to be a resurgence of killings mostly in Kenya although The Uganda Watch website reports that there has been a recent increase in Uganda, as well. Over the last 20 years, Kony has killed approximately 100,000 people and nearly 2 million have been displaced.

The following videos give more insight into the wicked evilness of Joseph Kony. I can only pray that he will be stopped someday soon and that hope, opportunity, and a sense of "normalcy" can be restored to his victims.

Inside the LRA - by Journeyman Pictures
Abduction in Uganda - by Journeyman Pictures

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