KONY2012: Ten Questions For Invisible Children
If you really care about the plight of Ugandan children, why have you not also denounced the use of child soldiers by Gen. Museveni, who was the first Ugandan to recruit children as fighters, during his own guerrilla insurgency? Not even the tyrant Idi Amin recruited child soldiers during his tyranny.
[Black Star News Editorial]
(1). Why did you launch the misleading KONY2012 video when today's challenges in Uganda are the following?:
Nationally, Ugandans are fighting to eject a U.S.-backed dictator, Gen. Yoweri K. Museveni, who has been in office for more than 26 years now and imposed his regime by brutal repression.
As you know, Gen. Museveni has stolen the last three elections, including last February's presidential election.
This website reported the pre-determined results on the day of the election when a source close to the regime made it available.
Ugandans responded with a "Walk To Work" campaign that the regime has violently suppressed. Many Ugandans were shot to death and the opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye , whom many Ugandans believe won the race, was brutally beaten, sprayed with chemical agents causing temporary blindness, and arrested. Ugandans are appalled that Western organizations and media supported the demands for democratization in Egypt and other north African countries, while endorsing the status quo and dictatorship in Uganda.
If you're a supporter for democratization and the rule of law, wouldn't you have made this struggle the focus of any campaign to help Ugandans or at least even mentioned it during your media appearances to promote KONY2012? Instead you're working in league with Museveni's brutal military.
2. Why did you misleadingly and deceptively propagate the falsehood that the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is still currently operating inside Uganda with 30,000 child soldiers, in Acholi region, when in fact you know the LRA is in the Central African Republican? While all LRA atrocities must be halted, your hysterical promo seems designed to gain public support for massive U.S. troops deployment in the region.
Skeptics believe the U.S., having been rebuffed when it tried to base AFRICOM in an African country, would now come in through a side door. The deployment sets U.S. boots on the ground in the oil rich region-- northern part of Uganda, South Sudan, parts of Congo, and Central Africa-- and checks resource-hungry China's advances.
3. By diverting the global news focus and concentrating solely on the LRA's crimes, aren't you unwittingly, or wittingly, exonerating the Uganda government's military of its horrendous human rights abuses in Uganda and Congo and thereby actually helping Gen. Museveni?
The Ugandan Army was found guilty of genocide in Congo by the World Court and Uganda ordered to pay $10 billion reparations. What was your response when confronted with this? IC in a statement claimed it does not "defend any of the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Ugandan government or the Ugandan army" and that IC works with the Ugandan military because it is "more organized and better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries (DRC, South Sudan, CAR) to track down Joseph Kony."
What a preposterous statement. By that logic, does this mean that you could also declare that you don't support the human rights abuses by the LRA and work with elements of the LRA to track down Ugandan soldiers that have committed war crimes?
4. In Acholi region, the current immediate crises are: genocide survivors who have returned home to their ancestral lands are being violently evicted by Gen. Museveni's security forces in favor of "investors" such as the Madhvani family, and Ugandan politicians and military generals who are salivating over these lands. If you really cared about the plight of children in Acholi, would you not be focusing on this violent campaign against them and their parents? You haven't even mentioned these violent evictions in any of your media appearances to promote the flawed KONY2012 video.
5. In Acholi region right now several thousands of children have been afflicted by a mysterious ailment whose cause is unknown, called the "nodding disease" The symptoms include: weakening of the muscles, brain degeneration, uncontrolled drooling, involuntary dozing off. Many of these victims are dying and the Ugandan government, which as you know, under Gen. Museveni, has always been hostile to the Acholis, has ignored this calamity and not even declared a national emergency. How can you really claim to care for the plight of the Children in Acholi region and not even mention this epidemic in any of your media appearance to promote KONY2012?
6. As you know, civilians in Acholi region, elected members of Parliament from Acholi, former Presidential candidates Norbert Mao and Olara Otunnu, and religious leaders such as Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu and retired Bishop MacLeord Baker Ochola II all oppose any further militarization in the region. They all support the resumption of the peace negotiations that were aborted in 2008 when Gen. Museveni's army attacked the camp where the LRA had been encamped in Garamba in Congo, as peace talks continued. How can you be advocating a military solution when the people who have paid the price for more than 26 years oppose warfare and want negotiations? Are you a better advocate than leaders in Acholi who have actually lost their children and families? What gives you the right?
7. As you know the LRA leader Joseph Kony was indicted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and your organization Invisible Children has campaigned for his capture. As you know, Gen. Museveni's army was found guilty by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for what amounts to war crimes during Uganda's occupation of eastern Congo from 1997 to 2003. The Wall Street Journal reported on June 8, 2006 that Gen. Museveni personally contacted then United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and asked him to block an investigation of the same alleged crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Clearly this suggests that Gen. Museveni knows the evidence also warrants his own indictment. Why are you promoting only the prosecution of Kony and not Gen. Museveni when the two are opposite sides of the same coin? Why not but pressure on both?
8. As you know, Invisible Children claims its mission is to rescue Child soldiers forcefully recruited by the Lord's Resistance Army, which is of course a commendable campaign. If you really care about the plight of Ugandan children, why have you not also denounced the use of child soldiers by Gen. Museveni, who was the first Ugandan to recruit children as fighters, during his own guerrilla insurgency? Not even Idi Amin recruited child soldiers during his tyranny.
9. As you know, Gen. Museveni's army confined nearly two million Acholis that critics contended were concentration camps, for nearly 20 years. Conditions were horrendous --lack of food, lack of sanitation, lack of medical facilities, lack of hydration, mass rapes by Ugandan soldiers. The United Nation's World Health Organization (WHO) reported that as many as 1,000 excess deaths per week--over normal mortality-- occurred in those camps. This means that more than 1 million Acholis may have been exterminated under this genocidal policy of planned neglect. If you were serious, in your heart, should this not have been the focus of your documentary?
10. During the period when Acholis were confined in the death camps, their possession -- livestock and foods stored in granaries-- was stolen by the Army. If you cared about the children in Acholi, would you not advocate for compensation of their families so that they can restart their lives over? Instead, they are once again being displaced from their lands, in favor of investors.
Jason Russell, what is your true agenda in promoting militarism in traumatized Uganda?
"Speaking Truth To Empower."