Here’s one of the most important questions in the world: where on earth is Joseph Kony? On Tuesday, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon released a statement publicly confirming what Invisible Children has known for a while: he’s hiding in Kafia Kingi.
Kafia Kingi is a Sudanese controlled ‘enclave’ bordering South Sudan and the Central African Republic. It’s a place to which Kony has been able to return time and time again to take refuge, from which he’s been able to continue to direct his fighters to attack civilians in neighbouring countries, and an area where African Union led forces (assisted by U.S. advisers) cannot go.
Ban Ki-moon said that the Sudanese government denied that the LRA are in the area, but went on to state that “credible sources suggest LRA leader Joseph Kony and senior LRA commanders have recently returned to seek safe haven in Sudanese-controlled areas of the enclave.”
Invisible Children has been working to remove Kony’s safe havens. It’s been one of the major ‘asks’ in the ongoing lobby meetings that our IC Citizens – activists who are working to keep the LRA issue on their government’s radars – have been taking part in this spring. They’ve been in touch with 80 senator’s offices, and personally met with 43 and counting to ask the U.S. to put pressure on the government of Sudan to ensure Kony is not given a safe haven there.
Kony’s return to Kafia Kingi (as well as his abuse of the turmoil in neighbouring Central African Republic) is yet more proof of his canny ability to exploit the political situation around him for survival. Yet, it is also arguably a symptom of the pressure he is under. According to Invisible Children’s Counter-LRA programs manage Sean Poole, “Joseph Kony and the LRA are more desperate than they have ever been in their history.” Last year alone, a combination of ‘Come-Home’ messaging and counter-LRA military operations reduced the rebel group’s core fighting force by over 20%. Only around 200 fighters remain on the battlefield, and as recently as February there were credible reports that another senior commander may have been removed from the battlefield.
Making sure that Kony no longer has a safe-harbour in Sudan is one of the key components needed to bring him to justice and end LRA violence for good. It’s something we must do for the more than 300,000 people still displaced because of their fear for the brutal rebel group, and for every man, woman and child still held captive.
Our IC Citizen activists are influencing historic decisions by the U.S. Government. Be a part of it – to find out more email [email protected] and ask to be added to the mailing list.