1. Lord’s Resistance Army
  2. Timeline
  3. Joseph Koni and his atrocities
  4. Kony 2012 – Viral Campaign on Youtube

Lord’s Resistance Army

  • The Lord’s Resistance Army is a rebel group led by leader Joseph Kony.
  • The group originated in Northern Uganda as a movement to fight for the rights of the Acholi people.
  • The group has been fighting the Ugandan army for years and has been driven out of Uganda and is now scattered across Congo, Central African Republic and Southern Sudan, where it conducts brutal attacks
  • Spread of LRA activity = Uganda, Congo, South Sudan, CAR.

areas affected by Koni


  • 1980 Holy Spirit Movement– The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) came to life as the Holy Spirit Movement in the early 1980s by a woman called Alice Lakwena who claimed that the Holy Spirit had ordered her to overthrow the Ugandan govt because of the atrocities it commits against the Acholi people. The Acholi’s live in Northern Uganda.
  • A large number of Acholi people flocked to Alice Lakwena, they had a lot of grudge against the Ugandan govt, the Holy Spirit Movement gathered momentum however a battle fought between the movement and the Ugandan army resulted in its defeat and exile of Alice Lakwena from Uganda to Kenya.
  • Thus in this time of turmoil for the movement, a man named Joseph Kony, claiming to be the cousin of Alice Lakwena took over as leader of the movement and renamed it as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
  • 1987 LRA Insurgeny- The Lord’s Resistance Army started armed insurgency activity in 1987
  • 2002 Operation Iron Fist- In 2002, the Ugandan government launched Operation Iron Fist (with cooperation with the Sudanese government, relations between both the countries had improved) against the LRA. This led the LRA to move into remote regions of northern Uganda
  • 2005 ICC issues warrants against Kony and his 4 commanders- In 2005 the International Criminal Court issued warrants against 5LRA commanders, including Kony
  • 2006 Indictment of Kony by ICC- In 2006 Joseph Kony was indicted by the International Criminal Court for various war crimes, like abductions, killings, rape etc. In 2006 a second truce is agreed by both the sides (LRA and Ugandan govt) mediated by the Southern Sudan.
  • 2008 Juba Peace Talks and resumption of insurgency- Kony refuses to sign a permanent truce under the Juba Peace talk because the ICC warrants have not be withdrawn against him. Thus LRA resumes its violent activities. The LRA starts abducting children from not only Uganda but also South Sudan, Congo and the Central African Republic. Thus the militaries/militias of Uganda, South Sudan and Congo launch Operation Lightening Thunder against the LRA.
  • 2011 Involvement of US forces- United States dispatched 100 military advisors to Central Africa

Joseph Koni and his atrocities

  • The LRA under Kony’s command has been accused of abducting children and turning them into vicious child soldiers. Most of these children are abducted from various villages, those who do not cooperate with LRA has either killed or mutilated. The able bodied children are taken away and used as soldiers, weapons carriers, cooks, porters and even sex slaves.
  • Numerous attempts have been launched to reach a peace agreement with the LRA, but Kony has thwarted such attempts, however the Ugandan Army claims that it has weakened the LRA significantly. However the LRA has spread its tentacles to Congo where the MONUSCO is under-staffed and has had problems to contain it.
  • The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants against Joseph Kony and his men but he has not been arrested till now.
  • Moreover 100 US Special Forces operatives are aiding and advising the armies of 4 African nations which are pursuing the LRA.

Kony 2012 – Viral Campaign on Youtube

Joseph Koni

  • In March 2012, a 30 minute documentary called Kony 2012, based on Joseph Kony was released. The documentary was directed by film maker Jason Russell. Jason Russell made the documentary for the campaign group “Invisible Children Inc”.
  • The documentary went “viral” in March 2012 and became popular amongst millions of people around the world.
  • It was viewed on video sharing sites like You Tube, Vimeo. The documentary was the result of the effort of the charity and campaign group, Invisible Children. Invisible Children has been putting in enormous effort to get Kony arrested.

Guest Article by Varoon Bakshi.