- October 28, 2014
- News & Analysis
Nine years ago this month the International Criminal Court publicly released indictments for Joseph Kony and four other LRA officers, charging them with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Since then, Kony has been the subject of countless media reports, but has kept himself remarkably isolated from the outside world (he hasn’t had known contact with anybody outside of the LRA since 2008, when the Juba peace talks collapsed). In this vaccum of information, dozens of policymakers, military officers, and talking heads (like me) have made a cottage industry of speculating where he is at any one time. Despite this, nobody has ever attempted to compile reports of Kony’s location in one place or thoroughly analyze his movements…. until now.
Today Resolve, Invisible Children released Tracking Kony: A rebel leader’s nine-year odyssey, a new LRA Crisis Tracker report that maps every credible, publicly-available report of Kony’s location since 2005, when he was indicted by the ICC. It shows how Kony has skillfully adapted to changing geopolitical dynamics and international counter-LRA strategies, traversing four countries in east and central Africa in order to evade his day in court. My back-of-the-napkin calculations estimate he’s walked at least 30,000 miles (that’s once around the equator and then from Cairo to Cape Town) since the ICC indictments were released.
The report’s innovative design and elegant cartography are the result of many hours of work by Kenneth Transier, Resolve’s tech and design whiz. Many thanks also Saskia Rotshuizen, Camille Marie-Regnault, and Julian Elam for their data analysis and research assistance on the report. And finally, a huge thanks to Betsy Emmons and Jon Marino, our friends at MapStory (one my favorite projects), for their help with data analysis and research as well.