April 5, 2012 / 5:32 PM / 5 years ago

Anti-Kony group releases follow-up to viral video

Joseph Kony speaks to journalists after a meeting with U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland at Ri-Kwamba in southern Sudan in this November 12, 2006 file photo.Stuart Price/Pool/Files

REUTERS - The group Invisible Children released a new video on Thursday as a follow-up to the viral "Kony 2012" film aimed at focusing global awareness on atrocities attributed to Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army.

"We want people to dig deeper into this conflict and actively engage in the solutions," Ben Keesey, CEO of Invisible Children, said in a statement announcing the new 20-minute video: "Kony 2012: Part II - Beyond Famous" ... "is a call to turn global awareness into informed action," he said.

The "Kony 2012" film became an Internet sensation last month, racking up more than 86 million hits on YouTube since it was posted and thrusting its director into the spotlight.

The success of the video has been hailed for inspiring young people to activism, but has been criticized for oversimplifying the long-standing human rights crisis in the region.

The conflict is not limited to Uganda, but has long since spilled over into the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Kony was last sighted, and where other rebel groups and government forces have also been accused of atrocities.

The Lord's Resistance Army also operates in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

The campaign was embarrassed when the maker of the original video, Jason Russell, suffered a public meltdown in California in March that doctors described as a brief psychotic breakdown.

Invisible Children said the new film provided a more in-depth look at the Lord's Resistance Army and outlines regional efforts to end violence in central Africa.

"The LRA has abducted over 50 people in central Africa since Kony 2012 was launched one month ago.

"Now we have the opportunity to work together as a global community to help solve this issue," said Jolly Okot, Invisible Children's Uganda Country Director.

Reporting by Cynthia Johnston; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Todd Eastham

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