Kony 2012 Video: A Pretext for Military Intervention?

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Kony 2012 Video: A Pretext for Military Intervention?

WASHINGTON - Musavuli is the national spokesperson and student coordinator for Friends of the Congo. He said today: “I spoke with the makers of ‘Kony 2012′ years ago and I asked them if they thought the Ugandan government was doing all it could for peace and they had no response. They are in effect backing this very oppressive government. Kony is certainly a very evil man, but he is no longer in Uganda and this video is pushing for military intervention rather than using diplomatic means. A U.S. ally, Uganda has caused havoc in Somalia, in Rwanda and especially in the Congo where they invaded twice (1996 and 1998) and supported rebel groups which triggered the deaths of millions of Congolese from which Congolese suffer to this day.

“And, while this film calls for U.S. military intervention in capturing a rebel called Joseph Kony by providing military support to Ugandan dictator Museveni, another film — “Crisis in the Congo” [in which Musavuli is featured] — talks about the role of the U.S. in supporting Rwanda and Uganda’s destructive role in the Congo which has resulted in millions dead and wide-scale pilfering of Congo’s minerals. The film emphasizes the need for diplomatic engagement through a law called The Democratic Republic of Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act (Public Law 109-456) which was written by Obama when he was a senator and co-sponsored by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“But today, President Obama is ignoring the law that he himself wrote. Instead, for the past two years the Obama administration has given the Congolese army a waiver to use child soldiers in the military and continue to receive U.S. military backing. So it’s quite something for us to see that the White House is so pleased with the video. The video calls on the U.S. to help the International Criminal Court capture Kony. But the U.S. is itself not a signatory to the ICC, it will not subject itself to the court, but it wants to subject others.”

Musavuli was just in a video by The Real News “Kony 2012 Hides U.S. Support for Repressive Ugandan Regime.”

EMIRA WOODS, emira at ips-dc.org, also via Lacy MacAuley, lacy at ips-dc.org
Woods is co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. She recently appeared on the PBS NewsHour on this issue. She said: “There are three bills in Congress related to this issue now. What is not shown in the video is the other part of this picture, which is a Ugandan military that has also been tremendously abusive in terms of the rights of its own people. The type of intervention called for in the video was tried before back in 2008. It was called Operation Lightning Thunder, reported well in The New York Times and elsewhere, where the U.S., using military forces, went in … working with the Ugandan military. What we saw essentially was Ugandan civilians caught in the crossfire, huge escalation in deaths at that time, a military operation that, in fact, failed, was never reviewed, never scrutinized, and now a call for young people to go all out and essentially support yet another attempt at a military intervention.”

Al Jazeera English reports “Ugandans, who suffered at hands of Lord’s Resistance Army, react in anger at Kony video causing Internet waves.”

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A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.

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