The Next Kony: 6 More War Criminals Who Deserve an Internet-Wide Shaming
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Now that Invisible Children's Kony 2012 campaign has made Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony internet-infamous, who are some of the other international figures who deserve to be brought to justice? We worked with our friends at UN Dispatch to put together a shortlist.
Pictured: The Rajapaksa brothers (see slide 4)
Thomas Lubanga Dyilo
This Congolese militia leader is little-known, but he was the first-ever defendant at the International Criminal Court. He is accused of recruiting an army of child soldiers (sound familiar?), then unleashing them on civilian populations in the Ituri province of Eastern Congo. Video evidence presented in court shows him giving marching orders to kids that appeared to be no older than 13. The ICC is scheduled to hand down his verdict on March 14—he is expected to be convicted, but there's no guarantee due to prosecutorial mishaps in the case. —Mark Leon Goldberg
Photo via Telegraph UK
His boss, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, takes most of the heat, but Haroun is the guy Bashir turned to when he needed to suppress a revolt in Darfur. As a government minister in charge of the "Darfur Security Desk" in 2003 and 2004, he masterminded a brutally effective effective strategy of counterinsurgency-by-genocide. These days he's the governor of the Sudanese state of South Kordofan. Guess what's happening there? —Mark Leon Goldberg
Photo via The Daily Maverick
The Rajapaksa Brothers
The end of the Sri Lankan civil war in the spring and summer of 2009 included a massive genocide perpetrated by the government. About 200,000 Tamil civilians (along with a small number of Tamil Tiger terrorists) were backed into a plot of land about the size of Central Park with the Indian Ocean on one side and the military on the other. The government won the battle against the terrorists, but they killed as many as 40,000 civilians in the process. The two key leaders of the operation were Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, defense minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa. There have been no war crimes investigations, no truth commissions, and no reckoning for their heinous crimes. —Mark Leon Goldberg
Photo via adaderana.lk
Ntaganda, a Rwandan Tutsi formerly of the Rwandan Patriotic Army, was chief of military operations for the Union of Congolese Patriots (see first slide) from the late 1990s until 2006, when he became military chief of staff of a different militant group, the National Congress for the Defense of the People. Ntaganda, who is known as "The Terminator," has been wanted by the International Criminal Court since 2006 for crimes committed while a commander in the armed wing of the UPC.
According to Human Rights Watch, the ICC has charged Ntaganda with using child soldiers in 2002 and 2003, and notes that he “was involved in numerous massacres and other serious human rights abuses." In 2002, UPC soldiers under Ntaganda’s command "went house-to-house killing Lendu and Ngiti civilians with firearms, machetes, or spears." These days, Ntaganda is a general in the FARDC while former CNDP forces under his command control much of eastern Congo. He lives in Goma and enjoys playing tennis. —Carol Jean Gallo
Photo via Human Rights Watch
The Haqqani family
Dubbed the "Sopranos of the Afghanistan war" by The New York Times, the Haqqanis are a terrifying menace to Afghan civilians and aid workers. This hybrid mafia-insurgent group commands thousands of fighters in Afghanistan and Pakistan, controls a vast empire of thriving criminal enterprises, trains children to be suicide bombers, and masterminds many of the country's most appalling crimes against civilians. —Una Moore
Photo via Pakistan Kakhudahafiz
"Brother Number Two" and chief ideologue Chea never achieved the same level of popular infamy as his friend and longtime associate Pol Pot. But as the Khmer Rouge's idea man and chief of the party's security committee, Chea was responsible for many of the offensives during the Cambodian communist revolution that killed more than 2.5 million by mass execution, starvation, and overwork.
Chea oversaw the infamous S-21 torture prison in Phnom Penh, from which only 14 of 14,000 alleged enemies of the administration came out alive. According to journalist Nate Thayer, Chea personally received information on every person who came through S-21, ordering them killed after extracting information from them. Now on trial as part of the lumbering Khmer Rouge War Tribunal, Chea has blamed Vietnam, party infiltrators, and others' mistakes for the bloodshed and misery of the Khmer Rouge era. —Faine Greenwood
Photo via The Irrawaddy