Luis Moreno Ocampo has defended Invisible Children's campaign to stop Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.
The International Criminal Court's (ICC) chief prosecutor praised the controversial charity organization, saying it mobilized the world with its Kony 2012 video.
The 30-minute film seeks to bring attention to Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), who is wanted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Kony 2012 been viewed more than 60 million times since it was posted online on Monday.
These are just a bunch of kids from California, they could be off surfing or whatever but they're not, the prosecutor told Anna Holligan, the BBC's corespondent in The Hague.
They're giving a voice to people who before no one knew about and no one cared about and I salute them.
But quickly after it exploded into the American consciousness, the video and Invisible Children's methodology has been much scrutinized. One of the reasons, among many, is that Kony isn't really considered much of a threat to Uganda anymore. Moreover, the power of the LRA has been diminishing since 2006, when it moved out of Northern Uganda and into neighboring countries like Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
But Ocampo, who is featured prominently in Kony 2012, has defended Invisible Children, as well as its video and its message.
As the head of the ICC, Ocampo is motivated by justice. And Kony, regardless of the LRA's current status, is a war criminal.
The ICC has charged Kony and four other senior LRA leaders with a total of 21 counts of war crimes and 12 counts of crimes against humanity, including enslavement, rape, enlisting children and murdering non-combatants. The charges stem from years of horrendous attacks by the LRA, including a particularly gruesome incident in 2002 when the LRA allegedly made a funeral procession eat the body of the deceased, and then murdered the mourners after they did.
The world reacts when Adolf Hitler is committing crimes or Gaddafi but no one knew Joseph Kony because he is not killing people in Paris, or London, Germany or New York... but Invisible Children care and they've mobilized the world now, Ocampo said.
What Ocampo did not mention in the interview is whether he supports the way in which Invisible Children is trying to stop Kony.
Invisible Children advocates wants to take Kony by force, and the organization lobbied the U.S. government to intervene militarily in Uganda.
Moreover, Invisible Children also supports the Uganda's national army, the People's Defence Force, which not so long ago had a minimum age for service of 13 -- which would certainly count as using child soldiers -- and was more recently accused of raping some of the women they had rescued from the LRA.
The lists of criticisms against Invisible Children is growing steadily -- it now includes things like exploiting African children, racism, purposefully misleading supporters and misrepresenting the situation in Uganda, and generally being impractical -- but as long as the hit counter continues to tick upward, Ocampo seems satisfied to let Kony 2012 play on.