As the world was rapidly becoming aware of Joseph Kony’s atrocities, people were left appalled. Without knowing the region, it is hard to understand why it would be so difficult to capture one man. The New York Times released a story yesterday with updates from the American team helping to track down LRA leadership. The Green Berets, who are only in “an advise and assist role” and do not take part in actual combat, explain the complexity of the situation:
Their biggest challenge, they say, is Mr. Kony’s turf, a vast expanse the size of California in the middle of Africa that is so rugged it renders much of the American gadgetry useless. Picture towering trees that blot out the sun, endless miles of elephant grass, and swirling brown rivers that coil like intestines and are infested with crocodiles…
Though a few Ugandan officials think that Kony is currently in Sudan, American efforts have placed their efforts on a “remote corner of the Central African Republic.”
The Central African Republic would be an excellent place to disappear. Its national army is one of the region’s smallest and weakest. Its terrain is primordially thick. And its infrastructure is shambolic.
Young people around the world have been very influential in the way the efforts to stop LRA violence have progressed in these last few months. When people agree, change happens.
As one American official put it: “Let’s be honest, there was some constituent pressure here. Did ‘Kony 2012’ have something to do with this? Absolutely.”
This increase in interest has created unparalleled bipartisan backing. New legislation and the eyes of the world have led to high expectations for this mission and with this comes a great amount of accountability. It is our adamant hope that Joseph Kony is captured. The precedent set by his arrest and trial is crucial. The united effort to stop this mad man is our declaration of intolerance for crimes of this magnitude.
Read the whole NY Times article here.
(Photo by Ben Curtis/Associated Press)