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Red Cross Youth criticises Kony campaign

TCY asks whether people are just trying to hunt Kony, or want to help child soldiers

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The Danish Red Cross Youth (RCY) organisation is criticising the worldwide campaign against the Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony, saying the campaign does not help former child soldiers in Northern Uganda.

A global campaign is currently under way following the screening of “Kony 2012”, an Internet video produced by the Invisible Children group and describing the life of a former child soldier Jacob. The video has spread like wildfire across the globe and been seen by millions.

“The video shows more what the threat picture was like in Northern Uganda previously, rather than what it is like today,” says RCY National Chairman Mads Espersen, who adds that Joseph Kony is no longer in Northern Uganda.

Although the RCY says Kony should indeed be caught and brought to justice, it doubts that the campaign can achieve that end.

“I have difficulty seeing what people can do to help. The Ugandan army is already trying to catch him and is being helped by the Americans - so perhaps it would be better to leave it to them,” Espersen says.

At the same time he says it is unclear what the money that people are donating to the campaign is to be used for.

“I don’t know Invisible Children, but if one wants to be sure what money is used for it would probably be better to support one of the international organisations in the area,” Espersen says.

“It is probably as exciting as it is unconstructive to hunt war criminals. There are many like Jacob who need to build up their lives and it would be better to use energy for that battle,” he says.

The Danish Red Cross Youth is an independent organization under the umbrella of the Danish Red Cross and the International Red Cross movement. It is Denmark's largest humanitarian youth organization with more than 3500 volunteers. The organisation’s goal is to improve the conditions of vulnerable children and young people locally, nationally and internationally.

RCY currently has exchange and development programmes with Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Jordan and Palestine.

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