Monday, 12 March 2012

Q&A: Does #Kony2012 do more harm than good?

Filed under: Africa files,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 15:08 PDT

On Thursday March 8, internet users around the globe woke up to a rebel African leader named Joseph Kony pasted across their facebook walls, tilting the trends on Twitter and kicking up a virtual activist storm over an issue few had ever heard of: The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the strife of children in the jungles straddling east and central Africa.

Within hours, the online world was seemingly fit to burst at the seams with righteous indignation over Kony and his alleged war crimes, with users beating the war drums over the possibility of social media ushering in an international movement to bring Kony to justice.

The social media soiree and the fact that the campaign has brought attention to an otherwise obscure topic nothwithstanding, the organisation behind the campaign group “Invisible Children”, co-founded by Jason Russell, has since drawn severe criticism over the financial and ethical underpinning of its ambitions.

Al Jazeera’s Azad Essa spoke to Firoze Manji, the editor of Pambazuka News, a pan-African online news magazine, about the intrinsic value of the #Kony campaign exploding across the internet – and why it has drawn such scathing criticism.


Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping: An Emerging Approach to Civilian Protection and Violence Prevention | USIP March 21, 2012

Filed under: Africa files,Conferences, Events,Disarmament,Latin America & Caribbean,Nonviolence,South Asia — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 14:41 PDT
Wednesday, 21 March 2012

From South Sudan to Sri Lanka, Guatemala to Nepal, specially trained, unarmed civilians are protecting civilians under threat and preventing violence from escalating in areas of violent conflict. Working on the basis of strict nonpartisanship and at the invitation of local civil society, these peacekeepers apply field-tested strategies that create space for local actors to transform conflicts, protect human rights defenders and others made vulnerable by the conflict, as well as supporting local violence prevention mechanisms.

They bring on-the-ground realities of violent conflicts to national, regional and international attention. Their presence provides a bridge between peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) and Peace Brigades International (PBI), two of the leaders in unarmed civilian protection, will present how peacekeeping works without guns, what lessons are being learned, and how this practice can now be brought to scale.
March 21, 2012 – 10:00 – 11:30am
U.S. Institute of Peace
2301 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037

More at

Kony 2012: Director of video agrees with critics

Filed under: Africa files,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:31 PDT

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) says that he supports Kony 2012, the campaign to capture alleged Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony.

Louis Moreno Ocampo told the BBC Monday that the social media campaign by Invisible Children had “mobilized the world.” The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Kony in 2005.

Meanwhile, the director of a video sensation that calls for the arrest of Kony agreed on Friday with critics who have called the film oversimplified, saying it was deliberately made that way.


Kony 2012 Video Draws Criticism In Uganda

Filed under: Africa files,Books, reports, sites, blogs,Humanitarian work,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:30 PDT

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — The wildly successful viral video campaign to raise global awareness of a brutal Central Africa rebel leader is attracting criticism from Ugandans, some who said Friday that the 30-minute video misrepresents the complicated history of Africa’s longest-running conflict.

The campaign by the advocacy group Invisible Children to make militia leader Joseph Kony a household name has received enormous attention on YouTube and other Internet sites this week.

But critics here said the video glosses over a complicated history that made it possible for Kony to rise to the notoriety he has today. They also lamented that the video does not inform viewers that Kony originally was waging war against Uganda’s army, whose human rights record has been condemned as brutal by independent observers.

“There is no historical context. It’s more like a fashion thing,” said Timothy Kalyegira, a well-known social critic in Uganda who once published a newsletter called The Uganda Record.


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