Angelina Jolie has been a Hollywood starlet and household name for decades.
Though she’s best-known as a Hollywood starlet and big-time actress, Angelina Jolie’s list of accomplishments far exceeds that of golden trophies and award-winning films.
Widely known for her heart for adopting foreign children, Jolie is a humanitarian first, and an actress second. A Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency, the 42-year-old has spent nearly two decades advocating for millions of people around the world who have been displaced.
One man who has made himself famous through the displacement of innocent people and children is Ugandan Warlord, Joseph Kony.
The number one target on the International Criminal Court’s most wanted list since 2005, Joseph Kony has been at large since 1987, when he first formed the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Northern Uganda. The rebel movement was initiated by Kony to end the oppression of the north, but virtually became an oppression of the north in itself.
Kony’s tactics were—and remain—brutal. He abducts children into the LRA, turning girls into sex slaves, and boys into child soldiers. They are forced to kill their parents and mutilate people’s faces. Many children have been forced to eat human flesh as both punishment and a source of food.
He’s been doing this for 30 years.
The International Displacement Monitoring Center suggests that an estimated 2.5 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes in Uganda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, since the formation of the LRA in the late 1980s.
Kony has single-handedly spearheaded Uganda’s longest-running civil war between his LRA and the Ugandan government. He has brainwashed the minds of Central Africa’s Millennials, and set them up for a generation of fighting.
At the height of the conflict in Uganda, in fear of Kony, the LRA and Kony’s Rebel leaders, children “night commuted.” This was the act of displacing themselves from their homes to avoid being abducted by the LRA. They would walk miles from their homes to the city centers. There, hundreds of children would sleep in school houses, churches or bus depots.
Kony has abducted over 30,000 children since his rise to power. The LRA has killed over 2,400 people since 2008, and currently today, an estimated 440,000 people remain displaced from their homes in the Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan regions.
The LRA now consists of only 250 fighters, but the ramifications of their crimes are enough to keep the war going.
Peace talks between the Ugandan Government, advocate organizations like Invisible Children, the United States Military and even members of the United Nations have been arranged with Kony for decades. But their attempts have failed.
Emerging reports this week suggest Angelina Jolie had Kony on her radar.
Leaked emails from 2012 between Angelina Jolie and Luis Moreno Ocampo, the former chief prosecutor for the ICC, revealed the pair had been in cahoots as part of the ICC’s plan to bring Joseph Kony to justice.
The arrangement: Ocampo asked the mother of six to take part in a plan that would lure the warlord in. It was then Jolie’s idea to “invite Kony to dinner and then arrest him.”
“He’s an extraordinarily horrible human being,” Jolie said of Kony in 2012.
The plot to catch him reportedly involved embedding Jolie and Pitt in the Central African Republic near Kony’s rumored encampment. They’d be accompanied by a unit of U.S. Special Forces soldiers for the execution of his arrest.
As part of the “honeytrap,” Jolie had discussed bringing her then-husband and Hollywood A-lister, Brad Pitt, along for the dinner, as well as fellow actor and friend, George Clooney.
Clooney had previously cofounded a project that used commercial satellites to fly over South Sudan and collect evidence of war crimes.
In the end, reports suggest the plan was never executed as Jolie eventually stopped replying to Ocampo’s emails.
Both the United States Military and the Ugandan military has now ended its mission to capture Kony as the LRA has diminished to few soldiers. However, since their withdraw, the UN says the LRA has ramped up their activity in the region.
There is still a $5 million bounty being offered for the arrest of Joseph Kony.
Learn more about how you can be part of the solution by visiting www.InvisibleChildren.com, and check out the full film, Kony 2012, below.