The group behind the “Kony 2012″ internet video that broke records by getting more than 100 million views in less than a week — and subsequently received heavy criticism — is planning to release a sequel this week.
According to a blog posting by California-based Invisible Children, “Kony 2012 Part 2″ will be released Tuesday and will include an update about the “Cover the Night” nationwide awareness-raising event scheduled for April 20.
The 30-minute “Kony 2012″ film about brutal African warlord Joseph Kony calls for viewers to turn up the pressure on politicians to support military efforts to capture Kony by the end of this year. Its success immediately drew a backlash from critics who said it oversimplified the issue to the point of being misleading. But the film and social media campaign also has some high-profile defenders, including the head of the International Criminal Court, who praised the effort this weekend.
ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told the French Press Agency he believes Kony will be arrested this year because of the viral campaign.
“The Invisible Children movie is adding the social interest that the institutions need to achieve results,” he said. “We need this… attention to make the political leaders interested.”
As a result of the wildly popular film, U.S. lawmakers have introduced resolutions calling for more financial support for African troops fighting Kony’s rebel army. Last week the United Nations announced a new effort for better coordination of 5,000 African soldiers going after Kony’s forces in three central African countries.
For more than 20 years, Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) terrorized communities in northern Uganda. The LRA is notorious for mutilating victims and abducting children who are forced to become soldiers and sex slaves. Kony’s army left Uganda in 2006 and has since been attacking villages in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan.
Invisible Children’s founders have worked since 2003 to raise awareness about Kony in hopes of creating public demand for international efforts to stop him. But dealing with the sudden success of their latest video has been difficult.
Co-founder and filmmaker Jason Russell is recovering from a mental breakdown that his wife said was brought on by the stress of reacting to the “raves and ridicules” accompanying instant fame. Less than two weeks after the video was released, San Diego police took Russell to a hospital after he was found running naked in the streets, yelling and slapping his hands on the pavement.