World-renowned conflict-zone journalist Robert Young Pelton has a new take on terrorism. The guy who talked his way out of getting kidnapped, made friends with enemy combatants to get the story and reinvented the Hemingway hero is using crowdsourcing to find Africa’s most wanted man.
The cause is real. Joseph Kony enslaved thousands of African children. Some became child soldiers, others sex slaves. Mothers were raped and tortured, fathers tortured and murdered. The remaining children were conscripted into sexual slavery or child militias. Using local resources and years of experience in the region, Robert Young Pelton will travel to Uganda to find Joseph Kony, employing trust instead of uninformed intimidation for sources.
For years, governments including the US, Central African Republic and Uganda as well as charities have spent $200 million searching for Kony since 2008. Despite these efforts and $5 million reward offered for his capture, he still remains at large. Pelton hopes to use his skills as a conflict zone journalist to find Kony’s whereabouts. He plans to use social media networks employing health care providers, missionaries, local police and educators to help him find one of the world’s most wanted terrorists.
If Pelton finds Kony, whatever is left over from the $5 million reward will go back into a fund that he has started for good works in dangerous places.
Though the funding is public and private, in fact, four top donors may attend the expedition. Pelton seeks most of his money through crowd sourcing, and donors can expect alerts and updates through applicable social media. Robert Young Pelton’s ambitious mission might lead to the capture of Joseph Kony. One only hopes that it won’t be the other way around.