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Joseph Kony is the head of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan guerrilla group. While initially enjoying strong public support, the LRA turned brutally on its own supporters, supposedly to "purify" the Acholi people and turn Uganda into a theocracy. Kony proclaims himself the spokesperson of God and a spirit medium, primarily of the Holy Spirit, which the group believes can represent itself in many manifestations. Ideologically, the group is a syncretic mix of of mysticism, Acholi nationalism, and Christian fundamentalism, and claims to be establishing a theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments and local Acholi tradition.

He ordered the abduction of children to become child-sex slaves and child soldiers for girls and boys respectively. An estimated 66,000 children became soldiers and two million people have been internally displaced since 1986. In 2005, Kony was indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, but has evaded capture. The LRA operates in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Sudan.

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