There are supporters and detractors for the campaign as with most things. Having watched the video, I was quite happy to lend my support. But having tweeted about it and read detractors tweets, I thought I’d better find out more about the organisation behind the campaign.
On the surface, Kony 2012 looks like a worthy cause. Who wouldn’t want to rescue children forced into sexual slavery and forced to become soldiers? Joseph Kony is an evil man no doubt about it. And I would like to see him punished for his crimes.
The fact that Invisible Children has its own controversial background made me pause before donating any money to this cause. The website http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com reports that:
“The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money funds the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission. “
Mmm. Do I want to help fund an army of rapists and looters?
Elsewhere there are reports that the founders of the charity each take an $88,000 wage. Seems serious, steep to me. Also, the Better Business Bureau tried to conduct an assessment on them to make sure they are keeping to standards for charities and accountability but IC have refused to produce evidence and declined to be evaluated.
Okay. I’m even less sure of my support.
Some detractors’ talked about oil in Uganda being at the heart of the campaign. Having watched the video, I dismissed this as a reason. Activist group, Invisible Children started the campaign in 2003, long before oil was discovered in Uganda. Oil was discovered in Uganda in 2009.
Admittedly, it looks suspicious that the US government only decided to send troops to Uganda on a capture or kill mission late in 2011. It could be said that Uganda was on the US shit list from 2003, but first, they needed to secure Iraq oil after Saddam Hussein’s capture.
What is interesting is that there have been US soldiers in Uganda assisting the Ugandan army for years in the search for Kony. So why is this campaign going viral now? The US has already committed troops publicly and secretly to the cause.
I’ve already said oil is behind the sudden UK interest in Somalia, I don’t want to say that’s the case here. I also have to acknowledge that if troops go after Kony, they will be firing on the very children they seek to protect.
Instead of digging around, I wish I’d just thrown some money at the cause and be gratified by my small contribution. But the truth is meant to set you free. At best best Invisible Children charity are misguided at worst they have misrepresneted the facts. I have never asked any government to go to war and I’m not about to start now.
You all go off and make up your own minds. I don’t know what the heck to do know.