As KONY 2012 has taken the online world by storm, becoming the most viral video of all time by crossing the 100 million-view threshold in six days, critics have questioned the validity and morality of the film, which has been revealed as not entirely accurate. Last week Al Jazeera reached out to Ugandans to get their take on KONY 2012, but Uganda still had not released anything official. Yesterday, Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi responded to KONY 2012 in a video that was uploaded to YouTube.
In the video, Mbabazi says, “One point made in the KONY 2012 video is undeniable—Joseph Kony is truly an evil [man]. He has been responsible for the death and mutilation of tens of thousands of people, most of whom were children.” However, he points out that, “The KONY 2012 campaign fails to make one crucial point clear—Joseph Kony is not in Uganda…Uganda People’s Defense Forces defeated the LRA in Uganda in 2006.”
Mbabazi says, “I must correct the mistaken impression created by the KONY 2012 video. Uganda is not in conflict. Uganda is a modern, developing country, which enjoys peace, stability and security. Only a couple of months ago, Lonely Planet declared Uganda as the best country in the world to visit in 2012.”
He closes the video with an invitation: “Come and see Uganda for yourself. You will find a very different place to that portrayed by Invisible Children.”
In addition to uploading this video response to YouTube, Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has been reaching out to the celebrities targeted by the KONY 2012 campaign (including Rihanna, Ryan Seacrest, Warren Buffet, Taylor Swift, Tim Tebow and more) via his personal Twitter account, letting them know that #KonyisntinUganda and inviting them to come visit and see for themselves.
After hearing from the Ugandan Prime Minister, what are your thoughts on the KONY 2012 campaign?
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.