Central Africa is an unstable region. CAR is in the lingering stages of a complex insurgency. South Sudan is on the midst of a civil war, while DRC is recovering from years of internal strife.
SOCAFRICA has carefully expanded its network of cooperation and access to local military infrastructure — such as forward bases and airfields — and capabilities as part of the counter-LRA mission. Although focused on finding Kony and his cohorts, American military officers are concerned about the potential for radical Islamist groups to take advantage of the chaos.
Several of the soldiers involved in Observant Compass mentioned Séléka, a rebel coalition made up of mostly Muslim members, that fought against the government of CAR during a civil war that started in 2012.
Released in March by the human rights group Invisible Children, the addressed Joseph Kony's three decades as senior commander of the Ugandan rebel Lords Resistance Army (LRA) and his legacy of murder and rape throughout Central Africa.
The video, which had some 70 million views in its first weeks on the Web, attracted criticism and praise. Critics said it used sensationalist film techniques and framed Central Africa's conflicts simplistically. Indeed it does. It also portrayed Kony as a mass murderer, sociopath and mutilator. He is all of these evils, and hideously more.
Kony is also elusive. In October 2011, President deployed 100 U.S. special operations troops to Africa with orders to help African and U.N. forces capture Kony. "Kony 2012" lauds the U.S. deployment.