Kony: Hunt for the World's Most Wanted Panorama

Kony: Hunt for the World's Most Wanted

Reporter Sorious Samura investigates the myths surrounding one of Africa's most bizarre and brutal criminals, Joseph Kony, and the international fight to bring him to justice.

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This is Joseph Kony, one of the world's most wanted men. I am not


guilty. I am not guilty. As one of the most prolific killers in


history, Kony and his commanders are wanted for crimes against


humanity. He is a psychopath and he has got multiple personality


disorder. Said to have supernatural powers, he has ruined the lives of


millions. All I thought was that I would lose my life. That would be


the end of May. He turns children into curlers and ordered his


commanders to rape schoolgirls. Are you proud of yourself? I am not


proud. I am only disappointed with my life. Now he is hunted by the UN


and thousands of African troops backed by the planet's most


powerful military machine. advisers will continue their


efforts to bring this mad man to justice and save lives. This is


Joseph Kony. The black guy? And he is the target of a global campaign


demanding that he be captured this year. If we succeed, we changed the


course of human history. Tonight, Panorama joins the hunt for the


leader of what Kony calls his Lord's Resistance Army, and asks


why after 25 years of carnage, this notorious warlord is still at large.


I cannot tell you if it will be tomorrow, in a month, but


This is the frontline of the hunt for Joseph Kony. The jungle almost


the size of France. After a global campaign clamouring for the capture


of Kony this year, as an African journalist I want to know what is


being done on the ground to bring to justice the man who has


terrorised millions. I joined the Ugandan army unit hunting him in


the jungles of the Central African Republic. Uganda is being backed by


American special forces. But still Kony remains one step ahead. We are


doing whatever it takes to make sure that we capture or kill Kony.


Our last intelligence indicated that Joseph Kony is in the Central


African Republic. Kony might be anywhere because we do not have any


mechanism of tracking Kony himself. If Joseph Kony, the leader of the


Lord's Resistance Army, the LRA, had been 20 ft in front of me, I


would not have seen him. This is a real jungle. It is in the middle of


nowhere. Searching for anyone here, particularly a man who has mastered


the tactics of the bush, is like searching for a needle in a


haystack. Do you have any information whether the LRA are


around this area? Is that why you are going there? The LRA right now,


we do not know their position. Vicky Barr rotating in the general


area. One day we will come across the track. -- they keep rotating in


the general area. This camp was abandoned by the LRA just two weeks


earlier. This is the enemy defence. It was discovered after a rebel


defector led the Ugandans here. This was the headquarters. The


overall commander was clear. They avoid movement from their position.


That is why they can hide themselves here for more than a


month. It is estimated 50 to 60 of Kony's fighters lived here, plus


women and children. This child was one of them. Adam, said by his


mother to be Joseph Kony's five- year-old son. Abducted aged 13,


Doreen Abango escaped just 10 days earlier. TRANSLATION: I saw that I


was wasting my life so I took the opportunity to come back. I started


walking at night with my child, moving in such a way I did not


leave any tracks. A fire was found, I would be killed. -- if I was


found. Doreen told me she had not seen Kony for five years. She is


one of dozens of women that he is accused of raping. He takes women


in terms. Women go to him in terms. That is the nature of war. As women


we do not have the power to refuse. We are afraid and want to protect


The Ugandans believe that Joseph Kony is in the Central African


Republic, but the Lord's Resistance Army that he leads are thought to


be constantly on the move between here, Sudan in the North, and the


Democratic Republic of Congo, which continues to suffer at their hands.


Here, terrified families have sought centuries in refugee camps


since the LRA started attacking in 2008. I headed to the nearest camp.


300 miles South East of the Ugandan position. The first people started


coming in the month of March. people feel safe because delighted


macro and Congolese army are based nearby. -- because the UN and


Congolese army are based nearby. There are 10,000 people in camps.


The terror that the LRA cause in this region is totally


disproportionate to their numbers. The UN estimates there are only 100


fighters left, but they continue to evade capture. They did not attack


me but we ran because they killed people yes so we were afraid.


you think you can go back home? until the raiding and the war is


over. This is the worst thing that has ever happened to us and many of


our belongings have been destroyed. Today almost half a million people


remain displaced by the war. It is a fear creation tactic. People have


got that fear. They have that Psycho thing in them. That is why


TRANSLATION: The LRA kills. The LRA mutilates. The LRA mutilates. The


LRA burns villages and public buildings. These people have had


enough. We want Joseph Kony to leave this region. We want Joseph


Kony to be arrested and for us to Kony's war in this region started


only 300 miles away in Uganda in the late 1980s. Since then, the


scale of atrocities has been apocalyptic. An estimated 100,000


people have died in this conflict. At least 20,000 children have been


abducted, many forced to be child soldiers or sex slaves. What


exactly is Joseph Kony fighting for? Six years ago, after months of


negotiation, the film crew were led deep into the jungle to find out.


Surrounded by heavily armed fighters, this was to be the first


and last time Kony gave a television interview. I am a


freedom fighter who is fighting for freedom in Uganda. But I am not a


terrorist. Kony denied murdering civilians and abducting children.


found not guilty. I am not guilty. I am not guilty. And declaimed holy


spirits were guiding him in his mission to overthrow the Ugandan


Government. -- he claimed. Spirits will come to us. They come through


me and they talk to the people, what to do. But if I am also


fighting for the commandment of God, is that bad? It is not bad. I have


had to go to a crime profiler, actually Scotland Yard, to try to


understand this man that I have dealt with for a long time. Betty


Bigombe is one of a long line of African leaders who tried and


failed to talk Kony into making peace. His followers would say that


he is extremely kind. He is extremely generous. And yet he


would rape people, rip their tummy apart, or the killing in the most


brutal manner. Who is this man? And the analysis, the report that came


up, he is a psychopath. He has got a multiple personality disorder.


find out more about Joseph Kony, I came to the place where he was born,


Odek in northern Uganda. Here I found one of the last surviving


members of his family, Gabriela Lakot, his older sister. This is


the first time she had agreed to be interviewed. God has brought a


curse on this family. This is our mother's lament. Kony has brought


so much trouble on us, now everybody hates us. She was there


when Joseph Kony came into this world. When my mother was giving


birth, I came and supported her. As soon as Kony was born, he stood up


on his two feet. Everyone was astonished and wondrous, saying


this child is strange. This child is strange. When Kony reached his


teens, he started hearing voices in his head. It seems to me that he


had developed a mental problem. My father tried everything to help


Kony, but in vain. Even a cow was sacrificed, but in vain.


everyone in Odek believed that Kony was mentally ill. I found one of


his old school friends, later to become one of the warlord's


earliest disciples. The spirit had possessed Kony. That spirit, when


it's time came to speak, it entered Kony and completely transformed its


nature. These spirits would go on to haunt this region for decades.


By 1986, Kony was a young man and many in Northern and Gander were


rebelling against a new Government. -- northern Uganda. On this hill he


would claim to hear the voices of spirits which his followers


believed would predict the future. These voices would also later Mark


Kony out as a leader of insurgents. People saw the potential and the


possibility of a spirit that had possessed Kony helping them against


a danger of death that they thought was coming to them. I am amongst


the people that accepted. I am one of those. By the early 90s, the


rebellion was over, but the profit did not put down his gun. Instead


he turned it on his own people for abandoning the cause. Because of


Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army was born. -- the cult of Kony.


has been like a terrible fire. It has resulted in the last of many


young people. I see the wrong in it and the pain associated with it. We


A Ugandan Government camp created to protect local civilians from the


Mayor was affected. They failed. -- from the LRA was affected. 301


people were counted dead. Men, women and children. Slaughtered by


Kony's troops in February, 2004. This woman was ordered to kill her


husband. They asked me to cut his throat, but then a little child


soldier told them not to us than our old lady to kill her husband.


They took my husband and cut his throat while I watched. My child,


his son, was also killed. Her son I think Kony was very conscious of


what he was doing. I don't think the massacres that were committed


by the LRA, they were the acts of individuals who are indisciplined


but I think that they all came directly from his orders and I


think he knew very well what he was ordering. Carlos Rodriguez was a


priest at the time based the at the heart of where Kony was carrying


out his massacres he listened in ands -- as the LRA


leader talked on the radio to his troops. Sometimes he was very


explicit in ordering massacres, laughing like a sadistic killer,


saying, as he was laughing, that's very good, continue, you should


kill even more, you should kill even elderly people, even children.


Don't leave anybody alive. Industrial-scale killing, but Kony


inflicted brutality on the living, too.


Godfrey Okello - abducted aged ten. Ojok Patrick - abducted aged 14.


Oriem Michael - abducted aged ten. Kony said it was war. If he sends


you to fight, you have to fight. Much of the killing was carried out


by child soldiers. Thousands and thousands of children were abducted


by the LRA. Kony teaches, saying that all


civilians have been trained. They have arrows to use on us. Civilians


also use knives and all sorts of things to injure us, therefore, if


we come across any civilians we mustn't allow them to survive


because they are bad people. While young boys were forced to


become killers, Kony also had plans for young girls.


This was the dormitory where I was that night. Grace Acan was just 15


years old when she was abducted along with 30 other schoolgirls


from St Mary's convent, northern Ugandan in 1996. I thought that


would be the end of my life because I have heard a lot about LRA.


They're risky, they're dangerous, they can kill and when they get you


that will be the end of you. girls were marched for two weeks


north through the bush to an LRA camp in southern Sudan. There,


Grace discovered her fate for the next eight years. The moment you


begin your menstrual period, that's all. They will say now you are


ready for a man. That's what they will do. It doesn't matter how old


you are? It Doesn't matter. That's what they would do. Grace was


forced to become a sex slave. She was repeatedly raped by this man,


one of Kony's most senior commanders.


These days, it's not hard to find Kenneth Banya, he lives just down


the road from Grace. What I don't understand, why did


Kony specifically give these girls to be raped by the older guys, the


commanders, why? He was doing that because he wanted to maintain


people in the bush, do you understand? He wanted to keep


people in the bush, so that you don't think of other things.


how do you think it is for youngsters like Grace who have gone


through this without their permission? It is not only Grace


alone, there are so many who are like Grace. I kept on thinking that


now, how can I be given to such a man? It wasn't my choice. He was


basically forcing you every week? If you say no, they beat you.


that happen to you? I didn't want to be beaten with a panga because I


saw with my eyes what it is to be beaten with a machete.


Grace gave birth to two children, a son and a daughter, both fathered


by Banya. Then, in July 2004, eight years


after she was abducted, the Ugandan Army attacked the LRA camp where


she was being held. The first bomb landed on my son, who was being


carried by another girl, so they both died. I didn't see, but I was


told. I didn't have a chance to see where his body was.


Grace escaped with her daughter, Mercy, who is now nine years old.


Her mother wants to put the past behind them. But is that possible?


I wanted to know if the man who raped Grace showed any remorse.


Why did you systematically rape a child like her, who was 15 years,


over and over and over for years? Why did you do that? I did not rape


Grace. In LRA, you are given by force, and the woman also she is


forced. But Kenneth, if that was your child, 15 years old, somebody


does that to her, how would you feel? I had no choice. No, you had


a choice. I would be killed. It was a matter of either you die, or you


agree and you live. Banya was captured in 2004 by the


you goen Army. Despite his crimes, he was given an amnesty, and is now


a free man. How many girls did you rape in the bush? I did not, only


Grace and the other two. Only Grace and the other two. Yeah. Are you


proud of yourself for what you did to those girls? I am not proud


because if I was proud I would be talking proudly. I am only


disappointed with my life. Kenneth Banya, have you forgiven


him, will you forgive him? That is a very hard question. You know,


forgiveness comes from the heart. I feel as if something has been taken


out of me. Something valuable has been taken out of me.


Back in the jungles of the central African Republic, the hunt for


Joseph Kony continues. The noose seems to be tightening. A military


offensive led by the Ugandan Army four years ago scattered his forces


across the region. Now it's estimated there are only 450LRA


fighters left. In May this year, just 60 miles


from where we are, the Ugandans captured a senior LRA commander.


This is his first television interview.


The long length of time Kony and his people, including myself, has


spent in the bush, and the hardship and experience we have gone through,


is what has given Kony the knowledge and skills to survive in


the bush up until now. For almost 20 years, Achellam, seen


here, was one of Kony's right-hand men. Since his capture, he has


given the Ugandans vital intelligence about LRA movements.


Achellam is now calling for an end to the fighting. Many of my


colleagues are still in the bush and they should come out. They must


come out and there should be no more fighting. If Kony doesn't come


out, let him remain alone in the bush.


So why has Joseph Kony been allowed to wage this war for so long?


The Ugandans are now spearheading the fight to capture him, but for


many years one of the biggest obstacles to defeating Kony came


from within their own army. Corruption on a massive scale.


People were starting to profit from the war, so it became actually a


business. Therefore, I think people had less interest in ending it. And


that, I think, proved a very serious problem.


Most shocking was the discovery that around half the army only


existed on paper. The scandal became known as ghost soldiers. For


years, officers had inflated troop numbers to pocket wages and profit


from selling supplies destined for fictitious soldiers.


This secret Government report from 2003 reveals a plague, every single


Ugandan army unit was involved. So it was a huge, huge problem. How


far up it went I really can't say. From what you are telling me it's


clear that Kony has been a convenient enemy at the expense of


the lives of ordinary people? without doubt. Without doubt.


you think that corruption helped to drag this war to where it is today?


Oh, yeah, it contributed. It contributed to prolonging the war.


Despite past corruption, the you goen Army of today, backed by


American Special Forces, is widely believed to be the most effective


offensive force to end this war. But what about other African Armies


hunting the LRA? Any other force, other than the


Ugandan Army, the LRA doesn't fear. They only fear the Ugandan Army.


Feared they may be, but the fractious politics of the region


bars them from operating in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of


Congo. And, according to the President, Yoweri Museveni, Uganda


can't be expected to continue hunting Kony alone. Can you finish


this war without western support? Where we are now is an


international mission. It is not a domestic mission. We cannot be in


an international mission on domestic resources. Why? It's up to


the international community to help. An African Union Force of 5,000


troops which could hunt for the LRA across the whole region was due to


begin operations in March, but it hasn't happened. International


funding has yet to materialise. Fransisco Madeira is the man asking


for the money. You might call me a beggar, call me


whatever you want, but the truth of the matter is that the resources


are on one side, and the will is on the other and work has to be done.


If a true co-operation were to take place among countries involved in


this crisis, it would probably take a week to arrest Joseph Kony and to


put an end to his abuses. I can Tellez you whether it's going


to be tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or a month's time but


eventually the man is going to go down. Will Joseph Kony ever


surrender to face his accusers in the International Criminal Court?


Kony is afraid. He is really afraid. He is afraid of the accusation


against him in the Hague. Maybe the end has already been written.


would tell me things like, you know, I know exactly how I am going to


die. I am going to die like Hitler. One day people will wake up and


they will find out I have been dead for sometime. Is it too much to


hope that Kony's war may finally be drawing to an end? There is a


Somewhere in the vast, dense jungles of central Africa, is hidden Joseph Kony, one of the world's most wanted men. For the past 25 years, Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army have waged one of the continent's darkest conflicts; using an army of abducted and brutalised children to kill and maim tens of thousands of people. But how has one man, said to take his orders from the spirit world, managed to escape capture for so long? In the wake of the infamous 'Kony 2012' internet campaign to bring him to justice this year, Bafta-winning reporter, Sorious Samura, investigates the myths surrounding Kony and travels to the front line of the fight to bring one of Africa's most bizarre and brutal leaders to justice.

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