Invisible Children’s Kony2012 video has brought infamy to Central Africa’s rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and its leader, Joseph Kony.
But many have criticised the campaign for ignoring voices from people on the ground
A group of Ugandan bloggers and filmmakers, working under the collective “Uganda Speaks”, have now released their own film online looking at the LRA and its impact from their perspective – a move that aims to bring local voices to the debate.
Al Jazeera’s Malcolm Webb reports from northern Uganda where he met with the group. We also solicited reactions from our social media communities, and some of these are presented in the right column below.
Uganda Speaks map
Video: Ugandans react with anger to Kony video.
Ojwang Martin – “Leave us alone – Uganda is now peaceful. Why scare our tourists? Why were they doing nothing before and wake up now?”
Jean Mosh – “No relevance at all, in fact it is instead defaming the fragile image of my country, tourists could think the country is doing bad in terms of security but we just concluded the hosting of the international parliamentary union conference and Invisible children’s videos don’t showcase such prospects!”
Derrick Mubiru Treisman “Kony is no more in Uganda… All we want is to have him arrested and prosecuted in courts of law.”
Netanyahu Odongo Norbert – “Its irrelevant. There are a lot of misconceptions in the video. What makes it irrelevant is the war ended years back and the man is now hiding in Central Africa Republic.”
Paayas CelineForever Pandit – “It is extremely opportunistic. Kony left the country – we need peace. Invisible children can fabricate other strategies of looting people other than selling Kony kits.”
Mas Yunus – “Right now what Northern Uganda requires are rehabilitation and development agendas and programmes, talking and politicking what ended years ago. NGOs should look forward to healing the wounds of those affected not seeking avenues of getting money.”
There are about 4.174 million Internet users in Uganda (world rank 61st) [2010 estimate]
Jerome Birungi Ateenyi – “Kony is history in Uganda. But his war in northern Uganda left big sorrows on peoples live. I believe the end to him and all those with his ideologies should be welcome. We pray for those people he is terrorising. We prayed alot and he was pushed out of Uganda.”
Andy Keesha – “Uganda has been through hell and back. We have dealt with Kony on our own – your 15mins of fame are done Invisible Children. We appreciate the good you have done, but don’t make Kony a rock star.”
Kizito Nestor – “I am actually surprised at how much coverage this is getting, when actually people in Uganda have already moved on past this… Kony hasnt been in Uganda since 2004… As a Uganda, what we need is more business investment opportunities not sympathy from whoever thinks he can use this Kony video to take us for a ride… Thats so lame…. Actually victims don’t want to watch it cos it reminds them of all these atrocities.”
Maureen Agena – “This totally makes me sick. Why wear a bracelet and T-shirt with pictures of Kony?; Why be reminded about the nights I slept out of home for fear of being abducted? The pain that my people went through for all those years? My colleagues who still held captive, Invisible Children should look for better ways of making themselves relevant.”
Mugume Patrick – “This is negative publicity that we dont need. Where were they wen Kony was cutting off peoples lips, burning buses full of passengers, burning villages, making kids kill their relatives, etc . So the million dollar question is: WHY NOW? “
Jean Mosh – “The world should know that Kony is not in Uganda anymore, not even terrorising Ugandans from wherever he is right now so whatever Invisible children aims at, is all to their own selfish benefit. They should have produced that 10 or 15 years ago but not years after the LRA was defeated!”
Al Jazeera asked Ugandans on Facebook to share their thoughts on Kony 2012. Play the video to see what they had to say.