Youths disrupt screening of Kony 2012 film

A show organised to highlight the suffering people in northern Uganda went through during the rebel insurgency as captured in the controversial film “Kony 2012” ended prematurely in Lira town after a group of youths attacked the organisers.

Thursday March 15 2012

Children watch the Kony 2012 film in Lira on Tuesday. The show, however, was disrupted.

Children watch the Kony 2012 film in Lira on Tuesday. The show, however, was disrupted. COURTESY PHOTO 

By JAMES ERIKU & EMMANUEL OPIO

LIRA

A show organised to highlight the suffering people in northern Uganda went through during the rebel insurgency as captured in the controversial film “Kony 2012” ended prematurely in Lira town after a group of youths attacked the organisers.

Mr Victor Ocen, the director of the African Youth Initiative Network (AYINET), who initiated the show on Tuesday, said it was meant to inform the people on the “bad side” of wars.

But the disgruntled youths, who pelted the organisers with stones, said the film only brought back the sad memories of war. They also accused the organisers, who also included international journalists, of seeking to profiteer from their misery.

“We thought they would show us how our people are in need of resettlement support after the war….but they only started screening some whites who they claim suffered in similar wars,” said John Okaka, one of the youth leaders.

Several people, according to eye witnesses, were injured in the fracas before the police arrived after 30 minutes to calm the situation.

The Lira District Police Commander, Mr Robert Semata, in an interview with this newspaper, yesterday said the police came to stop the show because it was screened without their consent.

“Our men were already on the move to stop the show but good enough, the people took it upon themselves to disperse it,” said Mr Semata.

He added that the organisers would have informed the police about their plan to enable the force give the necessary protection. Police have not arrested any person in connection with the fracas.

The 30-minute documentary released by Invisible Children, a US charity, has at its heart a tear-jerking narration by an LRA survivor from Acholi Sub-region, the former epicentre for the insurgents.

The LRA was flashed out by the UPDF in August 2005.
The movie, uploaded on YouTube on Monday last week, has since gone viral on the Internet with over 100 million viewers worldwide by yesterday.

The same organisers, early this week, had reportedly planned a similar show in Gulu town but did not turn up for unclear reasons. Mr Ocenm said they have suspended further screenings of the film.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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