World Vision Welcomes Kony 2012 Awareness but says Issue is “complex”
9 March 2012 at 3:28 pm
The Kony2012 campaign has not been without its critics.
International aid agency World Vision has welcomed the increased public attention on the issue of child solders following the viral campaign of the documentary film Kony 2012, but says it will take a complex response to address underlying causes of instability in Northern Uganda.
World Vision says that while it recognises the invaluable role that public campaigning has in keeping the issue in the international media and in influencing change, “eliminating the use of child soldiers is going to require a complex response, led by the appropriate authorities and supported by international government action”.
It says that the roots of the conflict are complex and that “it will take a complex response to address underlying causes of instability in Northern Uganda and the surrounding regions”.
According to a statement from World Vision, the international community must also address the long-term needs of the children affected by this war. “This includes prevention, demobilization, and reintegration of child soldiers back into their home communities.”
While millions across the world have shown their support for the campaign, it has not been without its critics, with many foreign policy analysts, experts on African politics, peace building activists and other humanitarian professionals warning that the campaign is “simplistic” and a “misrepresentation” of the situation.
Produced by American Not for Profit group Invisible Children, the KONY 2012 video became a viral success on YouTube, which to-date has seen more than 43 million hits since it was first uploaded on March 5.
A successful social media campaign to ‘make Kony famous’ has followed, with more than half a million people showing their support on the Kony 2012 Facebook group and the Twitter hashtag #stopkony trending worldwide.
The KONY 2012 campaign says it aims to make Joseph Kony – the leader of rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) – famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.
World Vision, which says it has been working in the conflict-affected region for years, says that in order to support peace, the region needs ongoing and sustained support to address issues of poverty and injustice.