Child Soldiers Abducted by LRA in Uganda
By W.C.

July 25, 2006
All my life I have never really paid much attention to children being used as soldiers. In fact, when I was a child, I watched movies involving guns and violence. Back then I honestly felt satisfied by watching those kinds of movies. Shortly after, I bought a toy gun and I pretended to be like some of the people I saw in those action movies. I eventually grew out of that stage of playing with toys and I matured where I learned how in reality that children around the world are introduced to real guns very early in their lives. Those children are taught how to operate these guns during battle. Although I still watch movies involving guns and violence, I certainly now am more aware about what children around the world face everyday with guns and violence. A particular place in the world, which has a great number of child soldiers, is Uganda. Uganda has accumulated 30 000 children in the past 18 years as child soldiers. These children have been abducted by the LRA, which stands for Lordís Resistance Army. The LRA has trained some of these children to kill their own family and friends. I canít even imagine how difficult it would be for these children to harm their loved ones. When soldiers come to these childrenís home to abduct them, some of these children run off to hospitals or church halls at night. Only some of these places welcome children to stay. These child soldiers face many challenges that traumatize them. This story, told by a sixteen year old left me speechless. "One boy tried to escape [from the rebels], but he was caught... His hands were tied, and then they made us, the other new captives, kill him with a stick. I felt sick. I knew this boy from before. We were from the same village. I refused to kill him and they told me they would shoot me. They pointed a gun at me, so I had to do it. The boy was asking me, "Why are you doing this?" I said I had no choice. After we killed him, they made us smear his blood on our arms... They said we had to do this so we would not fear death and so we would not try to escape. . . I still dream about the boy from my village who I killed. I see him in my dreams, and he is talking to me and saying I killed him for nothing, and I am crying." - Susan, 16, abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda. I had read Susanís words several times to visualize and really sink in how she must have felt by doing what she did. When I read what she said I was at a loss of words and I still am. The leader of the Lordís Resistance Army in Uganda is Joseph Kony. He has brought a living nightmare to Uganda. I canít understand how someone would impact these innocent childrenís lives in such a way. Josephís aunt lived a similar life to his by leading an army of children into war. His aunt passed on this sorrow to him. Ugandaís situation is right now the worst and more children are becoming soldiers everyday.

"Uganda's Child Soldiers." 24 June 2005. .

"What is Happening to Child Soldiers in Uganda." BBC. 20 Apr. 2004. .

"The Voices of Child Soldiers." Human Rights Watch.

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