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UPDATE 1-Why make Kony famous? Video rubs raw Uganda scars | Reuters

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This text taken from Reuters via Online Media Daily Europe

* First screening of internet sensation in northern Uganda

* Disappointment and scorn greets scratchy screening (Adds tourism officials)

By Elias Biryabarema

LIRA, Uganda, March 14 (Reuters) – Few faces evoke more hatred and fear in northern Uganda than Joseph Kony, one of Africa’s most wanted men whose army of child soldiers preyed on this town for years and whose brutal legacy has been thrust back into the spotlight by a hugely popular U.S. video.

A wave of anger and depression swept over 27-year old Isaac Omodo as he stared at fuzzy images of young boys mutilated by the rebel warlord whose drugged and vicious fighters abducted Omodo’s brother at the height of northern raids by Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in 2001.

Those grainy pictures came from the first screening in northern Uganda on Tuesday of a 30-minute YouTube video filmed by a California-based charity, whose appeal for U.S.-backed Ugandan troops to capture the LRA leader went viral on the Internet over the last week.

“When I see some of those things Kony did I get mad,” said Omodo, whose sibling is still missing.

As the sun dipped over a dusty park in Lira, Omodo was among thousands who gathered to watch the screening of the video, which has been seen by more than 77 million people. It has attracted massive support on Twitter and Facebook and endorsements from celebrities like George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey in its quest to press for Kony’s capture.

But Omodo said he felt his raw emotional scars were being reopened.

“Why are we being reminded? I feel bad. We want to just forget all about Kony and the LRA madness,” Omodo told Reuters.

Some jeered as the projection neared its end and scuffles broke out as simmering frustrations boiled over.

Notorious for his use of children as fighters and sex slaves, as well as his fighters’ fondness for hacking off limbs, Kony terrorised northern Uganda for nearly 20 years until he was chased out of the area in 2005.

via UPDATE 1-Why make Kony famous? Video rubs raw Uganda scars | Reuters.

Written by Kees Winkel

March 15, 2012 at 10:00

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