MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Jonathan Asiimwe came to the US from Uganda six years ago, and says the freedoms we enjoy here shouldn't be taken for granted. He knows, because he's seen the oppression of his people in Uganda at the hands of rebel warlord, Joseph Kony.
"I grew up seeing this on the news every day, seeing images of people with limbs mutilated, their noses, their ears...it's really traumatizing," says Asiimwe.
This week, an international campaign called Kony 2012 got its start through a viral video produced by Jason Russell. Today alone, it's had more than 70 million hits. It highlights Kony's brutal crimes against the people of Northern Uganda, and calls for world citizens to act.
"These are complex issues--Kony's not, he's one plus one..we can all agree with that," Russell told The Today Show's Ann Curry.
Asiimwe thinks the campaign will do wonders in Uganda.
"This movement is creating awareness," he says, "and its taking this horrible crimes that have happened in northern Uganda into homes of people and even little children are talking about them. governments are going to pay attention to it and they're going to put a lot of effort in nabbing Kony."
There are naysayers that say the effort is just a ploy to make money and blow the situation out of proportion. Even some in Uganda say the campaign serves just to turn a profit.
"They've turned people's problems into their businesses," says Ugandan Government spokesperson Fred Opolot.
Kony's crimes are known to people in that region of the world, but they are just now getting attention in the rest of the world.
"Raping children girls that are ten years old, asking 5 or 6 year old children to kill their parents burning villages and hacking people to death," Asiimwe affirms.
Asiimwe says the video sheds new light on Kony's 26 year reign of terror and could eventually bring him to justice.
"Every person needs to have the same opportunities to enjoy their human rights, because they are God-given," says Asiimwe.
As the Kony 2012 message is shared, tweeted and YouTubed, awareness of Uganda's plight grows; and with awareness hopefully comes action.
You can decide for yourself if the Kony 2012 movement will help Uganda. If you haven't seen the video yet, visit youtube.com/Kony. There, you'll also learn how to help the organization in its mission to stop Joseph Kony.