Washington Post published this article by writer Michael Gerson about Joseph Kony and the international effort to bring him to justice. The article discusses the status of military personnel, the myths that surround Kony, and the commitment to put a stop to this man, this war. Our upcoming campaign, KONY 2012, is centered around the mandatory need for Joseph Kony to be captured and held accountable for his decades of torture as the leader of the LRA. Michael Getson hits the nail on the head with this brilliant and heartbreakingly written article, and it goes hand-in-hand with everything that we are determined to see happen this year. Read the article [excerpted below] and may you get as pumped up as we are to launch KONY 2012 and bring the world’s worst war criminal to justice.
From The Washington Post:
The net tightens around Joseph Kony
By Michael Gerson, Published: January 26
Francoise, age 16, talks quietly, revealing a shy smile only after praise for her tight cornrows. While walking to school four years ago, she and some classmates were captured by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The girls were distributed to soldiers as “wives.” In the mornings, Francoise cooked. In the afternoons, she carried packs on the march. When she tried to escape, the soldiers melted a water container and poured the plastic on her shoulders. Once, when the fighters saw two infants along the path, they crushed them with a pestle. “I witnessed that,” she says.
She recalls seeing Joseph Kony “maybe once a year.” Kony is the leader of the LRA and perhaps the most hated and hunted man on earth. His followers, she explains, think that “he is a supernatural being. He has a power over them.”
Francoise describes a six-week walk to an LRA camp in a remote part of the neighboring Central African Republic (CAR). Then the sounds of an attacking plane and helicopter. In the chaos, she escaped, arriving home just before Christmas.
Her story is eyewitness confirmation of an important event. During the summer, Kony recalled his commanders to the CAR for his first major leadership meeting in two years. On Sept. 12, forces of Uganda’s military (known as the UPDF) scattered the LRA fighters. Kony survived and fled. But the net around him tightens.
The pursuit of the LRA ranges over 240,000 square miles of jungle terrain in three countries. According to officers at the Joint Intelligence and Operations Center in Dungu, there were more than 300 LRA attacks last year. Units operate in small bands both east and west of Dungu. But Kony is still thought to be in the CAR. Experts on the conflict speculate his current location to be somewhere west of the Chinko River, a few hours by helicopter from his pursuers’ nearest military outpost.
(Photo Credit: The Washington Post)