With the recent popularity of the KONY 2012 campaign crushing Internet records, the world's attention has shifted to problems in central Africa almost overnight. The video—created by the non-profit Invisible Children to bring attention to the brutal Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony—is less than a week old, but it had garnered almost 75 million views on YouTube by March 12.
Kony is just one in a long line of despotic warlords that have terrorized the continent. Since the 1960s, men like Idi Amin, Charles Taylor and Muammar Qadhafi have committed atrocities against Africans from Uganda to Sierra Leone. The surging popularity of the KONY 2012 movement hopes to bring attention to areas affected by these men and others, where ruthless killing has been a standard for decades.
Here’s a look at five of the most notorious African warlords.