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Kony 2012: Film, concerts raise awareness about notorious Ugandan war criminal

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Joseph Kony - a guerilla leader in Northern Uganda - is one of the world's most notorious war criminals.

Ugandan students play music in Maryland to help fight back against the "Lord's Resistance Army" in Uganda, led by accused war criminal Joseph Kony.

And yet most Americans have never heard of him.

But through Facebook and Twitter, a viral video campaign hopes to change that.

With 10 million views in 48 hours "Kony 2012" is spreading like wildfire online, thanks in part to tweets and support from celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Justin Bieber.

The 30-minute film raises awareness of atrocities in Northern Uganda committed by Kony. He's accused of child abduction, rape, mutilation and forcing tens of thousands of youth to join his Lord's Resistance Army.

In October, President Obama committed 100 American troops to help Ugandans remove Kony.

The filmmaker hopes this campaign will put pressure on Washington to do more.

Brian Udong, now 18-years-old and a musician, grew up as an orphan in Uganda, raised by the organization "Empower African Children."
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He says Kony killed his father and his mother died during childbirth.

Now, Udong is on a tour of the United States along with 21 other orphans, performing their show "Spirit of Uganda."

"It's so joyful and positive about life and has seen life beyond what is in front of them," says Peter Kasule, the artistic director. "And they want to create a better future and change their communities and become leaders."

Wednesday, the group visited students in Potomac, Maryland where they shared stories from their homeland and their love of music.

"Spirit of Uganda" performs at the Music Center at Strathmore Friday night at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $28.

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