Of all the bloodthirsty maniacs strutting across the stage of Africa’s history, few trump Joseph Kony for sheer evil. Since taking to the bush of northern Uganda’s Acholi districts in 1986, his war has killed countless thousands and displaced millions. His ultimate aim: to overthrow President Yoweri Museveni – the West’s one-time darling in East Africa – and rule Uganda by the Ten Commandments. Atrocities by the Kony-led Lord’s Resistance Army have included mass abductions of children who were then brainwashed: boys became soldiers and young girls ‘sex slaves’. His fighters have chopped off their victims’ ears, lips and fingers. They have executed people who rode bicycles on Sundays. They have advanced into battle anointed in shea butter, believing it would turn enemies’ bullets to water.
No wonder Kony was a newsman’s wet dream.
From the Reuters bureau in Nairobi, young hack Matthew Green crafted the colour copy on Kony his editors demanded. It was a ‘classic tale of pointless savagery’. Yet in twenty years, no journalist