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Joseph Rao Kony (pronounced IPA: [koɲ]; born sometime between July and September of 1961) is the head of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan guerrilla group. While initially enjoying strong public support, the LRA allegedly turned on its own supporters, supposedly to "purify" the Acholi people and turn Uganda into a theocracy. Kony proclaims himself the spokesperson of God and a spirit medium, has nurtured a cult of personality, and claims he is visited by a multinational host of 13 spirits, including a Chinese phantom. Ideologically, the group is a syncretic mix of mysticism, Acholi nationalism, Islam, and Christian fundamentalism, and claims to be establishing a theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments and local Acholi tradition.
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