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Local Woman Suggests KONY 2012 Campaign May Miss the Mark

10:45 AM, Mar 14, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local woman now living in South Sudan is speaking out about the viral KONY 2012 video that's been circulating the Internet recently.

"We barely have water and electricity," said Michelle Perry.

Perry's life in the African country is a far cry from the life she knew in Jacksonville.

Perry moved to Central Africa in 2006, and blogs about her experiences there with a faith-based aide organization.

"Internet's not the best, but we can get on Twitter and Facebook," she said.

That's how she found out about the KONY 2012 movement, along with 100 million people who have watched the viral video since it was posted back on March 5.

Because of the spotty Internet connection she hasn't been able to finish the 30 minute video, but she worries the video is sending the wrong message.

"Instead of just tweeting and Facebook whatever comes up on their friend's wall, they could take some time and do some research," Perry said.

She said the biggest problem with the video is that it over simplifies a 27-year conflict.

She also agrees with dozens of Ugandan bloggers who have written that the video inaccurately portrays Joseph Kony and the LRA as active in their country.

"It's not bashing Invisible Children. It's just pointing out some of the context. The LRA is not in Uganda, and they haven't been there in about six years," Perry said.

They're actually closer to her in Southern Sudan than they are to Uganda.

In 2009 members of the LRA came within one mile of her camp, and Perry said her organization now cares for several children whose family's were killed in that attack.

"People who are terrified and they've pulled out their hidden stash of automatic weapons and machetes," she said.

She said the last thing people there want is more bloodshed.

The video calls for more than 100 military advisers to travel to Uganda to help put a stop to Kony's reign.

Perry said all they want is peace.

"This hits really close to home and we just don't want to see a well-intended, what we believe is a well-intended movement, advocate something that's going to bring a destructive result to this region," she said.

Perry said she has meeting scheduled with UN advisors in the coming weeks to discuss the situation.

First Coast News

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