Global Policy Forum

Joseph Kony

Picture credit:
In October 2005, the International Criminal Court issued its first indictments. As a result, Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), is now officially one of the most-wanted criminals in the world. For decades, the Kony-led LRA has terrorized Northern Ugandans, murdering people and kidnapping thousands of children who become soldiers, porters and concubines in Kony's bloody campaign.

Key document

Warrant of Arrest for Joseph Kony (September 27, 2005)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued its first-ever official arrest warrants. In this historic document, the ICC prosecutor singles out Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony, and charges him with 33 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed since July 2002, when the ICC Rome Statute came into effect.


20112008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004


US Approves 'Humanitarian Intervention' in Several African Countries (October 16, 2011)

President Obama has ordered the deployment of 100 armed military advisers to central Africa in order to combat the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). US forces will deploy into Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The US advisers will help the regional forces to combat the LRA, the rebel group responsible for estimated 30,000 deaths and the displacement of about two million people in the region. Although some human rights organizations have welcomed Obama’s decision, critics are wary of the deployment of US forces in Africa on alleged “humanitarian grounds” after the Afghan and Iraq episodes. (Al Jazeera)

Joseph Kony and The Lord’s Resistance Army are Not Going Away (August 25, 2011)

Last year, the Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni stated that his army had defeated Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The LRA is responsible for abduction, rape and killing of civilians in several countries such as Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. The UN recently released a report showing an increase in reported attacks by the LRA, which contradicts claims that the LRA is finished. Kony is still one of the world’s most-wanted criminals and evidence suggests that the LRA is regrouping. (African Report)


Lord's Resistance Army Uses Truce to Rearm and Spread Fear In Uganda (December 16, 2008)

After attempting for 20-years to overthrow the Ugandan government, Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is gaining strength. Although Kony has promised to sign a peace agreement with the government, he only uses the ceasefire to recruit soldiers for his 670-men strong rebel group and to rearm it. Local charities contribute to the power of the group by giving the LRA food to prevent the plundering of villages. (Times)

The Making of LRA's Joseph Kony: the Enigmatic Rebel Leader (January 6, 2008)

This Sunday Monitor article discusses Joseph Kony's background and role as the leader of the Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Kony joined the Uganda People's Democratic Army as a "spiritual mobiliser" at the age of 22 but when this movement stopped operating, Kony joined a group that later became the Lord's Resistance Army. Kony believes that he is "the personification of the holy spirit" and has killed, kidnapped and tortured many Ugandan citizens because he wants to "liberate them from corruption, sins and immoral thinking."


Rebel Victims Promised Compensation (October 4, 2007)

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni says victims of the two decade long insurgency by rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army will be compensated. A program of reconciliation and rehabilitation is set up by the Ugandan government and funds will be allocated once a "comprehensive peace settlement is achieved in Juba." Talks aimed at ending the 21 year insurgency have been stalled and are due to resume in October 2007. (Institute for War and Peace Reporting)


I Cannot Betray Kony - Museveni (August 16, 2006)

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said he will not "betray" the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)'s indicted leader Joseph Kony after concluding a peace agreement. The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for top LRA commanders for alleged crimes against humanity during Uganda's 20-year conflict. Sudan-mediated talks have stalled, as the LRA fear the government will surrender them to the ICC. (Monitor)

LRA Leader Must Be Arrested, ICC Insists (July 5, 2006)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) reiterates that Uganda has a legal obligation to arrest rebel group leader Joseph Kony, despite President Yoweri Museveni's amnesty offer. While Museveni chides the ICC for failing to capture Kony and other top Lord's Resistance Army commanders, some lawyers criticize the Ugandan government's inconsistency. Museveni referred the case to the ICC in 2004 and passed an act in April 2006 denying Kony amnesty. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Kony Offered Free Passage to Hague (June 30, 2006)

Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Luis Moreno-Ocampo has invited Ugandan rebel group leader Joseph Kony to respond formally to war crimes charges. Human Rights Watch insists that the international community presume Kony innocent until proven guilty. Meanwhile, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni reluctantly prepares to engage in peace talks with the rebel leader. (Monitor)

Call for Regional Effort to Tackle LRA (May 9, 2006)

Uganda is pushing for "regional cooperation" in its efforts to hunt down and apprehend Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group leader Joseph Kony and his associates. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni called on the Sudanese and Congolese governments, as well as the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), known as MONUC, to help capture Kony and "hand him over to the International Criminal Court in The Hague so as to end impunity." Museveni has repeatedly threatened to invade DRC if the LRA attacks Kampala from bases in northeastern Congo. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Kony Denied Amnesty (April 20, 2006)

The Ugandan Parliament has passed the Amnesty Amendment Act which excludes Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony from being eligible for amnesty. Many Members of Parliament (MPs) were opposed to the act, fearing that excluding Kony from eligibility would damage attempts at peace and begin another war in northern Uganda. Those MPs in favor of the act reassure that the opportunity for peace talks remains open. (New Vision - Kampala)


Southern Sudanese Long for Capture of Uganda Rebel (October 26, 2005)

Because Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony has moved his murderous operations into Southern Sudan, the people there have been unable to enjoy the fruits of their region's laborious peace accord, finally reached in January 2005. Southern Sudanese ex-rebels have thus become an unlikely, but committed, contingent in the international effort to capture Kony. (Reuters)

Kony's Arrest Warrant Issued as Tension Mounts in Great Lakes (October 1, 2005)

Since the International Criminal Court investigations began in Uganda, national and international experts have debated the merits of bringing Joseph Kony to justice without first securing peace. This debate was fueled again by the news that the ICC has issued an official warrant for Kony's arrest, at a time when Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the UN are at an especially tense point in their campaign against Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. (AngolaPress)

Time May Be Running out for Uganda's LRA Warlord (September 25, 2005)

Joseph Kony is the "perfect target" for the first ICC war crimes trial in The Hague, according to many experts. For the first time since 2002, Ugandan officials and human rights observers describe Kony's capture as "imminent." (Reuters)

Uganda the Horror (February 2005)

This in-depth Smithsonian expose documents Joseph Kony's and the Lord's Resistance Army's atrocities in Uganda. The article explains Joseph Kony's impetus for forming the LRA in 1987, and also gives insight into his unstable psychological state.

International Criminal Court in Dilemma over Kony (January 21, 2005)

The Ugandan Monitor describes the "Kony quagmire," or the issue of how to bring Joseph Kony to justice while minimizing further bloodshed. International Criminal Court investigations in Uganda raise the possibility of neo-colonialism and disregard for cultural context. At the same time, the Ugandan government has failed for nearly two decades to solve the question of justice for Kony on its own.


The End of Uganda's Mystic Rebel? (December 31, 2004)

Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) "has killed more people than Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hizbullah combined," aided in part by the aura of mysticism he has created for himself. Now, this mysticism is becoming mythical to many Ugandans, as shifting geopolitical factors such as ceasefire talks, ICC investigations, and the LRA's loss of Sudanese backing have shed more light on Kony's situation. "The spirit is gone," declares one government official, and hopes that soon Kony himself will be as well. (Christian Science Monitor)

The Mystic and His Brutal Army of Child Soldiers (July 30, 2004)

As the International Criminal Court begins its investigations into the atrocities occurring in Northern Uganda, the Independent examines the specific role played by Joseph Kony in the situation. From the LRA's founding in 1987 to its more contemporary support from the Sudanese government, Kony has continuously spearheaded the conflict, which has left tens of thousands dead.

Should Kony Face Trial? (February 11, 2004)

In Uganda, the majority of citizens agree on one thing: Joseph Kony is guilty of crimes against humanity. Beyond that, Ugandans do not come to consensus on how best to end Kony's murderous spree. Proposed ideas from national opinion leaders include granting Kony amnesty, prosecuting Kony in absentia, or capturing Kony before arraigning him. (New Vision)


FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.