Joseph Kony

Leader of the Lord's Resistance Army

Joseph Kony (pronounced IPA: [koɲ];[6] born 1961)[1] is a Ugandan guerrilla group leader. He is the head of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). While he had a lot of support from the public, the LRA turned against its supporters. They said that they did this to "purify" the Acholi people and turn Uganda into a theocracy ruled by the Ten Commandments.[2]

Joseph Kony
Joseph Kony

1961 (age 62–63)[1]
Known forLeader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
TitleLeader of the Lord's Resistance Army
SpouseThought to have 88 wives as of 2007[4]
ChildrenThought to have 42 children[5]

The LRA is known for the very bad things it does to civilians. Two of these things are murder and rape.[7]

The LRA has become known for what it does against the people of several countries. Some of these countries are northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Sudan. It has stolen and forced about 66,000 children to fight for them.[8]

In 2005, Kony was accused of war crimes by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. He has not yet been captured.[9]

Early life


Kony was born in 1961[1] in Odek.[2][10] Odek is a village which is east of Gulu in northern Uganda. He is a member of the Acholi people.[2] His father was called Luizi Obol. He was a farmer. His mother was called Nora.[11][12] Kony had a good relationship with his siblings, but if they had arguments, he would quickly fight back. Also, when challenged he would often use physical violence.[13] Kony was an altar boy for several years. However, he stopped going to church around the age of 15[13] and also dropped out of school.[2]

As a teenager, Kony was being trained to be the village witch doctor by Jamie Brow, his older brother. When Jamie died, Kony took over the position.[14]

War crime accusation


On October 6, 2005, the International Criminal Court (ICC) said that the arrest warrants had been given for five members of the Lord's Resistance Army. These were for crimes against humanity. On the next day Ugandan defence minister Amama Mbabazi said that the warrants include Kony, his deputy Vincent Otti, and LRA commanders Raska Lukwiya, Okot Odiambo, and Dominic Ongwen. The Ugandan military says that the Ugandan army killed Lukwiya on August 12, 2006.[9] The BBC heard that Otti had been killed on October 2, 2007, at Kony's home.[15] In November 2022, Al Jazera reported that the International Criminal Court (ICC) was trying to reopen their court case against Kony.[16]


  • Green, Matthew (2008). The Wizard of the Nile: The Hunt for Africa's Most Wanted. Portobello Books. ISBN 978-1846270307.
  • Briggs, Jimmie (2005). The Innocents Lost: When Child soldiers Go to War. Basic Books. ISBN 9780465007981.
  • Bussman, Jane (2009). The Worst Date Ever: War Crimes, Hollywood Heart-Throbs and Other Abominations. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0230737129.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Craine, Anthony. "Joseph Kony". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Daniel Howden (November 8, 2008). "The deadly cult of Joseph Kony". The Independent. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  3. "Joseph Kony". Retrieved 2012-03-08.
  4. Green, Matthew (2008). The Wizard of the Nile: The Hunt for Africa's Most Wanted. Portobello Books. p. 136. ISBN 9781846270314.
  5. Beatrice Debut Gulu (February 10, 2006). "Portrait of Uganda's rebel prophet, painted by wives". Mail & Guardian Online. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  6. "African voices respond to hyper-popular Kony 2012 viral campaign". Boing Boing. 8 March 2012.
  7. Richard Dowden. "Court threatens to block cannibal cult's peace offer". Royal African Society. Archived from the original on January 21, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  8. "Read The Bill: H.R. 2478". 2009-05-19. Archived from the original on 2011-02-03. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Ugandan army 'kills senior rebel'". BBC News. August 13, 2006. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  10. "Profile: Joseph Kony". BBC News. October 7, 2005. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  11. Green, Matthew (2008). The Wizard of the Nile: The Hunt for Africa's Most Wanted. Portobello Books. pp. 215. ISBN 9781846270314.
  12. Green, Matthew (2008). The Wizard of the Nile: The Hunt for Africa's Most Wanted. Portobello Books. p. 121. ISBN 9781846270314.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Jimmie Briggs (2005). Innocents Lost: When Child soldiers Go to war. pp. 105–144. ISBN 9780465007981.
  14. Peter Eichstaedt, First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army, p. 206
  15. "Otti 'executed by Uganda rebels'". BBC News. December 21, 2007. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  16. "ICC prosecutor seeks to revive case against fugitive Joseph Kony".

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