Critics Fear Kony 2012 Campaign Could Do More Harm Than Good

Some believe the effort seeks to solve a problem that no longer exists.

Posted: 03/09/2012 04:59 PM EST
Joseph Kony

The world is still all a-Twitter about Kony 2012, the viral video campaign launched this week by the advocacy group Invisible Children to hasten the capture and trial of Ugandan warlord and Lord’s Resistance Army Joseph Kony. But as admirable and even kind of revolutionary as the effort may be, is it trying to solve a problem that doesn’t actually exist? The answer depends on whom you speak to.

 

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Florida) introduced a House resolution on Friday supporting the United States’ continued military advisory role to help forces in Uganda apprehend Kony, which she said in a letter to colleagues. President Obama deployed 100 advisers to the African nation last fall, after a successful lobbying effort by Invisible Children to call lawmakers’ attention to Kony’s atrocities.

 

“Some people fear, however, that president Obama may be considering the withdrawal of our military support personnel in Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” said Wilson, adding that the world cannot “stand by silently, watching [Kony] commit further horrors.”

 

But according to a report in The Telegraph, the documentary wrongly implies that Kony is still terrorizing Uganda and Dr. Beatrice Mpora, director of a community health organization in a town where Kony once centered his LRA activities, told the publication that the viral campaign could cause more harm than good.

 

“There has not been a single soul from the LRA here since 2006. Now we have peace, people are back in their homes, they are planting their fields, they are starting their businesses. That is what people should help us with,” she said.

 

Peter Pham, a civilian adviser from the military command Obama sent to Uganda, also believes the campaign could adversely affect Kony’s capture.

 

"All I can say is, it couldn't have happened at a more unhelpful moment when you look at it strategically and operationally," Pham told CNN.

 

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(Photo: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire/Getty Images)

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