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This book is a product of a research project called ‘voices of youth’ carried out - page 72 / 125





72 / 125

A Lost Generation: Young People and Conflict in Africa

given food the previous day. They said we were captives and that is what is done to newly abducted people. We moved for some good miles that I cannot estimate but I guess it was over 40 miles. When night came it was even worse for the girls now.

We were divided into three different groups. So when you change position a different man rapes you. Different men raped all the girls. I must confess over five men raped me in a period of only one week. Some times you are raped by two men in one night. Just imagine such an inhuman situation. One month after all the raping my period was no more. I thought it was because of the bad feeding and the environment. But the second month came and the same thing. It was then that I realised I must be pregnant. I became so depressed because I could not tell who impregnated me because different men raped me. I felt like dying, killing myself,

but there was no way, because we were heavily guarded.

After the one month they started training us to go and raid food in the camps. One day they sent us to go and raid food in one of the camps in Kitgum District whose name I don’t remember. In the process, one rebel was shot dead, and better still there was a heavy downpour of rain. Then a friend of mine told me she was also pregnant. ‘Are we still going to follow these people?’ she asked, meaning the rebels. She immediately responded NO. It was then that the plans to escape started coming in. We decided to keep some distance from the main group. There was an exchange of fire between the UPDF and the LRA. We moved some distance and met two boys who asked our identity. We told them we had just escaped from the LRA. The boys then took us to a nearby (displaced) camp. The community later took us to the local councillor of the area.

Before abduction my life was very good. I used to do things together in a group with my peers. I had a great plan of becoming a nurse because I admire their work of saving life. This life is now shattered, because I cannot go back to formal education, because I have a child and I have to work for him. Life after abduction has not been easy. First of all I came back when I was pregnant. My parents welcomed me and indeed they were so happy to receive me. But the community would always point a finger at me: ‘You see that girl there? She is from the bush.’ After I gave birth my child was really segregated in the community by other parents. Most of these children who stigmatise are influenced by their parents. Other parents refer to my child as ‘Kony’. 27 Sometimes they even say my children are having the mentality of the rebels.

What is so bad with the community is that you should not do certain things that even any other person who has not gone to the bush can do. For example like getting annoyed, quarrelling and many others. They start saying: ‘Ineno en wic mi lum ni we, wic pa loneko’, meaning ‘she has that mentality of the bush, that


Referring insultingly to Joseph Kony, the leader of the LRA.


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