Ian Anderson 12:15 p.m., Oct. 21
"Invisible Children" May Have Spied For Ugandan Government
A government cable published by WikiLeaks shows that San Diego-based nonprofit Invisible Children, whose video about Lord's Resistance Army warlord Joseph Kony became an internet sensation, may have acted as spies for the Ugandan Government. If accurate, Invisible Children violated its nonprofit status, which prohibits the participation in political acts.
According to a cable from U.S. ambassador Steven Browning, the group provided Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni the location of former child soldier turned extortionist Patrick Komekech.
Here's an excerpt from Browning's document:
"The latest plot was exposed when the Government received a tip from the U.S. non-governmental organization (NGO) Invisible Children regarding the location of Patrick Komekech. He was wanted by the security services for impersonating [Lord's Resistance Army] leaders to extort money from government officials, NGOs, and Acholi leaders.
"Komekech is purportedly a former child soldier abducted by the LRA. Invisible Children had featured him in its documentaries. Invisible Children reported that Komekech had been in Nairobi and had recently reappeared in Gulu, where he was staying with the NGO. Security organizations jumped on the tip and immediately arrested Komekech on March 5. He had a satellite telephone and other gadgets, which were confiscated when security forces picked him up."
A spokesperson for the nonprofit in Uganda told the The Daily Monitor the cables were not accurate: “That is not true. We are not involved in anything to do with security. We only deal with development.”
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- Out of Africa — June 8, 2006
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