Joseph Kony (born 1961) is the head of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a guerrilla group that is engaged in a violent campaign to establish theocratic government in Uganda, which he claims is based on the Ten Commandments.
The LRA has earned a reputation for its actions against the people of several countries, including northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan. The LRA has abducted and forced an estimated 66,000 children to fight for them, and has also forced the internal displacement of over 2,000,000 people since its rebellion began in 1986.
Joseph Kony was born in 1961 in Odek, a village east of Gulu in northern Uganda Kony was the son of farmers. He was friendly to his siblings, but if they crossed him he came down hard on them. During his teenage years, Joseph Kony apprenticed as the village witch doctor under his older brother, Jamie Brow, and when his older brother died, he took over full responsibility. When confronted he often resorted to his fists rather than parrying verbally. He was teased in school about his size and the teachers gave him a hard time because he didn't seem too bright. His father was a lay apostle of the Catholic Church and his mother was an Anglican, Kony was an altar boy for several years. He stopped attending church at about the age of 15. A high-school dropout, Kony first came to prominence in January 1986, in his mid 20s. His group was one of many premillennialist groups that sprang up in Acholiland in the wake of the wildly popular Holy Spirit Movement of Alice Auma (aka Lakwena). However, the conflict in the north began in the resentment among the Acholi at their relative loss of influence after the overthrow of Acholi President Tito Okello by Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Army (NRA) during the Ugandan Bush War, ending in 1986.