KONY 2012 showed the world that Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) must be stopped to set a new precedent for international justice and help people in central Africa find peace. In response, world leaders from U.S. President Barack Obama to UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon made promises to help make it happen.

But Joseph Kony continues to roam free.

What’s Happening

Recent reports from leaders in central Africa and escaped LRA abductees [1] indicate that Kony is roaming freely in an area controlled by Sudan near the border of Central African Republic. Meanwhile, his top commanders are perpetrating attacks hundreds of miles away. So far in 2012, the LRA has carried out 233 attacks on communities in CAR and neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), abducting at least 402 innocent civilians [2]. Approximately 470,000 [3] people are currently displaced by these attacks, out of fear of the LRA.

What We’re Doing

Invisible Children works with regional partners and civil society leaders in the LRA affected regions to bring a responsible and permanent end to this conflict by prioritizing civilian protection, defection of LRA members, and the rehabilitation of affected communities through our Protection and Recovery Programs [4] in central and East Africa. Our programs address these critical concerns in the following ways:

Civilian Protection – The Early Warning Radio Network protects civilians by giving remote communities the communication infrastructure to report LRA attacks and receive warning when LRA groups are active nearby.

Defection – FM radio broadcasts and defection fliers target LRA groups directly through ‘Come Home’ messaging, encouraging them to escape and giving detailed instructions to do so safely. 89% of people who have recently escaped from the LRA have cited ‘Come Home’ messaging as their primary reason for defecting [5].

Rehabilitation – We’ve partnered with local leaders and international rehabilitation experts in northeastern DRC to establish the region’s first center providing support to children who have suffered high levels of trauma at the hands of the LRA, and we assist in the rehabilitation of the post-conflict region of northern Uganda by rebuilding secondary schools and investing in education and economic recovery programs to promote lasting peace.

The importance of civilian protection, defection, and rehabilitation cannot be overstated. But ultimately, LRA violence will not come to an end until Joseph Kony and his top commanders are arrested, and only the leaders of the concerned governments and institutions have the power to do that. It is for this reason that we fought for the passage of the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, and that we applaud the leadership role the African Union has taken over the mission to stop the LRA and the many statements of support made by regional governments and global institutions after the release of the KONY 2012 movie. But statements will not stop the LRA. Their violence will continue until the same leaders who made these statements take action, work together, and prioritize peace.

Our Aims

On November 17, thousands of citizens from all over the world will converge on Washington, DC for MOVE:DC, the final chapter of the KONY 2012 campaign. We have one goal: convince our leaders to move for justice. Participants at MOVE:DC will stand with human rights activists and leaders from LRA-affected communities in central Africa, and we will echo their calls for international leadership to arrest Joseph Kony and his top commanders, protect people from further LRA attacks, and restore communities devastated by their violence [6].

Representatives from the governments of Uganda, South Sudan, Congo, Central African Republic, and Sudan – whose countries’ are each affected by the LRA – and from the United States, the European Union, the African Union, the United Nations, and the International Criminal Court – whose leadership and support is crucial to the mission – have each been invited to join us at MOVE:DC in what we’re calling the Global Summit on the LRA, to engage participants in a conversation about what is needed to succeed. In the meantime, we are asking them to commit to follow through.

We ask that:

Governments in central Africa provide better protection for their people, while also denying Kony and his top commanders any safe haven. This includes the territory controlled by Sudan where Kony is thought to be hiding, and the Congo, which continues to downplay the impact of LRA violence.

The United States provide increased resources to help train and assist regional forces that are pursuing Kony and other top LRA commanders and contribute resources to overcome the critical gaps in air mobility needed to facilitate rapid movement above the difficult terrain of the region.

All donor governments expand funding for programs that directly benefit affected communities, including initiatives to develop basic infrastructure such as roads and communications systems and help rescue and rehabilitate LRA abductees.

Above all, we ask for collaboration, accountability, and persistence. Because if we truly work together, we can bring an end to LRA violence and a beginning to a new era of international justice.


[1] Kony Receiving Aid From Sudan, Says Ugandan Official: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/world/kony-receiving-aid-from-sudan-says-ugandan-official-229997.html[2] LRA Crisis Tracker: http://lracrisistracker.com/[3] LRA Regional Update: Central African Republic, DR Congo and South Sudan: http://www.hdptcar.net/sites/www.hdptcar.net/files/LRA_Regional_Update_Q2-2012-16Jul2012.pdf[4] Invisible Children Protection and Recovery Programs: http://invisiblechildren.com/programs/[5] Conciliation Resources Study: http://iwpr.net/report-news/radio-shows-target-lra-fighters[6] Call for Solidarity with the Populations of Central Africa: http://www.hrw.org/node/106633