‘That’s not our country!’ Ugandans say Stop Kony campaign is wrong

A screenshot from "KONY 2012."

This week, ‘Stop Kony’ captured our hearts. A powerful YouTube video detailing the plague of child soldiers in Uganda and demanding action against warlord Joseph Kony has received almost 30 million views while attracting a stream of celebrity supporters. But there’s a problem: critics say it’s not true.

Relief groups such as ActionAid Uganda have pointed out that the bloody civil war in the country has abated in recent years, and that the video grossly exaggerates the number of children forced into combat. Joseph Kony has long abandoned his home country along with his militia, the Lord’s Republican Army.  

ActionAid director Arthur Larok criticised Invisible Children. “The perception of a country at war is not accurate at all”, he said, accusing the filmmakers of “playing on people’s emotions”. Respected Ugandan journalist Angelo Izama wrote on his website that the film was “misleading” and claimed the message will detract from more urgent causes in the country, such as the spread of deadly diseases.

Invisible Children are being examined for their suspicious finances. According to its own accounts, just 32% of donor funding went on actual development work with large sums devoted to promotion and salaries. The Stop Kony campaign carries repeated calls for funding and has an online store promoting branded merchandise.

Independent watchdog Charity Navigator gave the group just two stars for transparency. Comparable child protection groups Save the Children and World Vision have the maximum four-star rating.

Invisible Children has issued a response on its website, claiming the transparency problem is just a technicality. “The two-stars are due to the single fact that (we) do not have five independent voting members on our board,” its statement said. The group also defended the focus on Kony despite his disappearance from Uganda: “The mission is to stop Kony and the LRA wherever they are.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.