Uganda counters Koni video online

2012-03-17 21:03

Gulu - Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi launched on Saturday an online response to a viral campaign to arrest rebel commander Joseph Kony to counter the "false impression" that the country is in conflict.

In a video broadcast on YouTube, and in a flurry of messages posted on Twitter, Mbabazi invited 20 celebrities including Hollywood or music stars such as Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

"As Prime Minister of Uganda, I appreciate your interest and invite you to visit. We have peace,stability and great people" he wrote in a tweet to celebrities, using the #KonyisntinUganda.

The video, Kony 2012, by US advocacy group Invisible Children, has been viewed by over 80 million people worldwide since it was released online last week, with a string of celebrities tweeting links to the emotional film.

"It is particularly welcome to see so many young people uniting across barriers of nation, race, religion and culture to take a stand for justice, I salute you and I thank you," Mbabazi said in the video.

"I extend the invitation not just to the 20 celebrities, but to you all - come and see Uganda for yourself - you will find a very different place to that portrayed by Invisible Children," he added.

Jason Russell, the 33-year-old co-head of the online campaign, has been hospitalised after being found semi-naked and masturbating in the street in the southern Californian city of San Diego, police and his boss said on Friday.

Mbabazi, speaking to the camera in the simple broadcast filmed at his office desk, said he wanted to correct the "well intentioned" video, pointing out that "Joseph Kony is not in Uganda," and that the country is "not in conflict".

Altar boy

Kony's ruthless rebels were infamous for mutilating civilians and abducting children to use as soldiers and sex-slaves during their two-decade war in northern Uganda.

But they have been forced out of Uganda and since 2006 have been operating in neighbouring countries.

Kony, a semi-literate former altar boy, took charge in 1988 of a rebellion among northern Uganda's ethnic Acholi minority, to fight the Kampala government it wanted to replace by a regime based on the bible's Ten Commandments.

He is accused by the International Criminal Court of the rape, mutilation and murder of civilians as well as forcibly recruiting child soldiers.

Regional armies launched a hunt in 2008 to capture Kony after he repeatedly refused to sign a peace deal with Uganda. But he remains at large alongside a clutch of fighters.

"We do not need a slick video on YouTube for us to take notice," Mbabazi added. "It is a tragedy which we have been dealing with for many years, and the scars of which we Ugandans will bear for many years to come."

  • Denise - 2012-03-17 23:09

    Hey, journalist type person - Kony is with a Y! I don't think we actually care where he is, as long as he is nowhere on this planet soon.

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-18 07:30

    Unfortunately only the 3rd world countries have these criminals to humanity. Where are those Gypsies the Bush and Blair show. Proven in the UK that these Capatilist lied to their constituents to Invade a sovereign land. Now you may understand why these organizations are viewed by most non- indoctrinated folk to have double standard agendas.

      bluzulu - 2012-03-18 14:05

      No DB, you are the one in a delusional world, This Kony character has long since left the scene. This so called aid organisation are a bunch of freeloaders making a living of charity funds. This is an old story that no longer exists. If you bother to get rid of your indoctrination certificate, the world would be clearer to you. Bush and Blair started a War where thousands were killed. Ain't no one gonna forget bout it.

      bluzulu - 2012-03-18 14:08

      @DB Try applying some educated comment when you type on that keyboard.

  • hein.huyser - 2012-03-18 08:15

    Come and look for him in South Africa. Our gov. is reputed to host every lowlife, mass-murderer and racist on the taxpayers' expense

      Hugo - 2012-03-18 10:27

      Rubbish,Kony fled to Congo in 2005/2006.

  • Hugo - 2012-03-18 09:05

    This is the problem we are facing in Africa and when the likes of Mbeki point this out they are branded as anti west.Kony was Defeated and fled to Congo.That was somewhere around 05/06.This video was shot in 2003!!Why call it kony 2012? why paint a picture of a coutnry in conflict?is it because of Uganda's oil reserves?? UGANDA IS AT PEACE,KONY WAS DEFEATED MORE THAN 5 YEARS AGO.We therefor do not need any occupation by some drunk american troops.The RACIST and IMPERIALIST west is at it again!!!

  • Tallica7 - 2012-03-18 10:16

    It's an American PR stunt publicise how evil someone is then take him out and oh my then America is the Hero of the day! And poor Uganda suffers forever as the westerners only see the worst! None the less a lesson for SA the Americans read only the South African headlines so we are a real joke due to our gov!

      Hugo - 2012-03-18 11:54

      No children are suffering.Kony was defeated and is probably dead.The remaining rebels had no choice but to negotiate with the gov of Uganda.THERE IS NO WAR IN UGANDA,KONY WAS DEFEATED!!!

      Hugo - 2012-03-18 13:26

      a link to a bbc site,is that all you have?so you gonna learn about Africa from the pommies?do you even live in Africa?travel?

      Hugo - 2012-03-18 17:00

      all african news reported on kony.The reason they have stopped is because KONY WAS DEFEATED,FLED TO CONGO,HIS JANJA-WEED MILLITIAS BEGGED GOV FOR FORGIVENESS.You will find nothing on kony now because he is probably dead.

  • mmoledis - 2012-03-24 14:22

    Who is supporting Koni by ammunition and weapons because one if has not a source where he get support then wont survive such operation and his followers and fighters could have long left him so someone is supporting the man financially and otherwise so that he carries out his duties non stop, there must be a motive behind that if can be looked at properly,from 1988 till now fighting and not running out of weapons,ammunition and manpower? I doubt someone is feeding Kony with intelligence information too. To Ugandans I say if he is stabilising the country then deal with him hunt him day and night Africa is not a playing ground and we want to see it stabilised like Europe and then live in peace and harmony and out of fear of rebels or criminals.

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