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Invisible Children video stirs US response: We're hunting down Joseph Kony

Last October, President Obama ordered the dispatching of 100 special forces advisers to assist in stopping African warlord Joseph Kony. The Invisible Children video puts a spotlight on Mr. Kony.

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This July 2006 file photo shows Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, during a meeting with a delegation of 160 officials and lawmakers from northern Uganda and representatives of non-governmental organizations in Congo near the Sudan border. The activist group Invisible Children, based in Southern California, is getting worldwide attention for a video that documents wartime atrocities in Africa.

AP/File

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The State Department is praising a grass-roots social media campaign that is putting a spotlight on the elusive African warlord Joseph Kony and his heinous Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

But at the same time, US diplomats (and in some cases, their African counterparts) want the mostly young people who are suddenly caught up in the get-Kony cyber phenomenon to know this: The US government, central African governments, and numerous nongovernmental organizations have been working for some time to stop Mr. Kony and to address the needs of his victims, from escaped child soldiers to mutilated villagers.

“Certainly we appreciate the efforts of the group Invisible Children to shine a light on the horrible atrocities of the LRA,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, speaking to reporters Thursday.

But she also added, “As you know, there are neighboring states, there are NGO groups who have been working on this problem for decades.” Moreover, she said, the United States has been “very much involved” through support to the countries of East and central Africa where Kony’s army roams and pillages – in particular since last October, when President Obama ordered the dispatching of 100 special forces advisers to assist in the effort to bring down the LRA.

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