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March 8, 2012

Wanting Action Against Kony Doesn't Demand Colonialism

By Spear's

There are sufficient examples of Africa not helping itself to justift at least the notion of Western intervention

In a day or so, the video documenting the child-soldier and child-rape atrocities of Joseph Kony has gone viral, been praised by those who have watched it and started to experience a backlash. It’s just another day of the internet acting at ever-increasing speed. (Soon the backlash will come before the success.)

I was referred to a blog which raised the two principal objections against the video: it will reduce aid to Central Africa and, worse, it implies that only Westerners – those watching the film and the governments the viewers will lobby – can save Africa. It reawakens (if it ever died) the colonial instinct in the West, patronising Africa and wanting to run its affairs.

The latter argument seems lacking to me. Of course Africa should run its own affairs – it has been a scandal that for centuries it could not, and even after the success of independence movements across the continent the West has continued to dominate through aid and trade.

But there are sufficient examples of Africa not helping itself to justift at least the notion of Western intervention. Does anyone needed to be reminded of Rwanda? Or Zimbabwe? If Kony has been allowed to roam free for this long, isn’t that evidence that Africa doesn’t always help Africa?

Watch Kony 2012 here

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