Joseph Kony took over The Holy Spirit movement – a militaristic and spiritual rebel movement seeking to free the north of Uganda from government oppression – in 1986. Kony changed the name of the group to the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA.
Joseph Kony wasn’t able to maintain the group’s numbers or regional support, so he started abducting children to fill the ranks of his army. What had started out as a rebel movement to end the oppression of the north became an oppression of the north in itself.
Joseph Kony’s tactics were – and remain – brutal. He often forced children to kill their parents or siblings with machetes or blunt tools. He mutilated those who stood in his way, or those simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, cutting off innocent civilians’ noses, lips, and hands. He abducted girls to be sex slaves for his officers.
It’s highly likely that Kony, with a small group of LRA, is currently hiding in Kafia Kingi, a Sudanese controlled ‘enclave’ bordering South Sudan and the Central African Republic. It’s a place which Kony has been able to return time and time again to take refuge, and from where he’s been able to continually direct his fighters to attack civilians in neighbouring countries; it is an area where African Union-led forces (assisted by U.S. advisers) cannot go.