An ‘international justice’ internet campaign by humanitarian group Invisible Childrenhas become a huge online hit, with their KONY 2012 documentary about a rather unknown Ugandan conflict that has now been shared over four million times on Facebook.
The movement was started to raise awareness about the alleged war crimes committed by the violent Ugandan military group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) under the leadership of Joseph Kony.
“If the world knows who Joseph Kony is, it will unite to stop him. It starts here,” reads the campaigns website.
Kony is wanted on 33 separate criminal charges, including 12 counts of crimes against humanity. Other charges include murder, enslavement and rape, while the International Criminal Court (ICC) has named Kony as one of the world’s most wanted terrorists after being on the run for over 26 years.
Invisible Children are aiming to make Kony a household name around the globe, “not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice”. George Clooney says in the documentary: “I would like indicted war criminals to experience the same level of fame that I experience”.
The militant is believed to have overseen the guerrilla group’s abduction of an estimated 66,000 children, forcing them to become child soldiers and sex slaves.
On Wednesday Kony 2012 and Invisible Children were trending worldwide on Twitter, with the group’s 30-minute documentary being retweeted thousands of times.
The documentary shows Uganda through the eyes of a former LRA child soldier, Jacob, who tells his story about how children were forced to kill their family members and how he wanted to die rather than live.
A series of celebrities, including Jenson Button, Stephen Fry and Rihanna, have all tweeted about it, using ‘#kony2012’ and ‘#stopkony’.
With over seven million views in only two days on YouTube, over 950,000 Facebook likes and almost 200,000 Twitter followers, this 30 minute documentary has taken over social media with the purpose to make the Ugandan guerilla group leader famous. The overwhelming interest in the movement, caused the group’s website to crash following a huge upsurge in traffic.