It has been a year since Kony 2012, a worldwide campaign whose objective was to make Joseph Kony a household name; enough for him to be important enough to be sought after, and caught.
Joseph Kony is a Ugandan warlord at the helm of the Lord’s Resistance Army. In the late 1980s, he waged an armed rebellion against the government of President Yoweri Museveni operating mainly in the northern part of Uganda.
He proclaims to be the medium of God and claiming that he has been visited by spirits from all over the world. He wants to turn Uganda into a theocracy, and has kidnapped thousands of children to be included in his ranks of soldiers some as sex slaves. He has since been indicted for his war crimes, and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, but has been evading capture since 2005.
And a year later, Kony 2012 may just be very close to achieving its goal.
“We’ve got him in a box,” United states Ambassador-at-Large for war crimes and crimes against humanity, Stephen Rapp said.
Kony is reported to be operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic. However, all efforts to find him have been gaining headway; US President Barack Obama sent 100 elite commandos to train regional forces in 2011, and has offered $5 million dollars as a reward for any information on Kony’s whereabouts.
Officials say that they are “very, very close.”
“We’ve got Kony solidly on the run, we’ve substantially diminished his forces, the operation is carried on in a way that protects the civilians,” Rapp told the media on Wednesday.
The reward money has helped in the developments: 14 rewards have been paid, with the amount varying, relying on factors such as how important the information is, and the danger the informant will be facing for coming clean.
“Understand: Our reward program only pays for information leading to the arrest, transfer or conviction of the individual,” Rapp said. “It doesn’t pay for a dead Joseph Kony … it’s not a dead-or-alive bounty. It’s to have him face his accusers in court.”