tv Doc Film - Children of Terror - Young Rebel Captives in Uganda Deutsche Welle November 19, 2017 2:15am-3:01am CET
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i could have done many things with my life. so i think. i need to understand that. there's a celebration underway today in the town of antioch in northern uganda but the memory of the past is never far behind the rebels of the resistance army left the region some ten years ago the suffering they caused still hasn't healed. the people here are celebrating the anniversary of evelyn on his mother's death margaret a callow died three years after evelyn was liberated from the hands of christian militia moderates health had suffered under years of worry for her daughter the
years that evelyn spent as a captive of joseph koni head of the. everyone here young and old is a victim of the terror waged by the. some also perpetrators the n.r.a. killed bad families the children parents grandparents many were kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers given no choice but to plunder and kill. young women had to bad the children of that kidnapped us. you know my mind when i returned home from captivity from the bush i had two children with my mother took in my children and love them when my mother died she left a big hole in my life. so many people here in the village lost family members to the massacre. i saw they weren't pleased that my children were here i couldn't raise my children here and i can't trust people. i only come here for short visits
and then i leave. evelyn and his ordeal began here in the bush near the road that leads to attack on august twenty fifth one thousand nine hundred ninety four at about five p.m. . evelyn lived with her mother and her grandparents on the nearby farm. she was just eleven years old when. she shows us the place where the family. the circle where the walls used to be is still visible evelyn was on her way home from school when she was suddenly confronted by a group of rebels. the rebels asked me what's her name i didn't reply they took sticks and beat me. evelyn they asked me and i said no my name is betty i'm just visiting. but they took me with
them we walked to the next farm where the village teacher lived when he saw us he reached for his rubber boots the rebels thought he was reaching for a weapon and they shot him on the spot. then we continued i had no idea that i would have to spend many years marching with the l r a i spent eleven years in the bush with the rebels i had no contact with my family and. northern uganda has suffered from civil unrest for generations the region is home to the actually ethnic group who have farmed and raise livestock in the isolated region for many years under the nearly seventy years of british colonial rule the rift between the north and the south deepened. the north remained poor and
undeveloped. after uganda or achieved independence in one thousand nine hundred sixty two various armed groups trying to seize power under the dictator in political opponents were brutally persecuted. actually who opposed our men were arrested in the tens of thousands tortured and murdered. in one thousand nine hundred six yoweri most of amy was sworn in as president. his policies continued to exacerbate ethnic conflict in uganda and he also regarded the actually as a security risk time and again most of any dispatch the military into actually land in northern uganda nine hundred eighty seven word began to spread of
a man named joseph koni who claimed he had been called by god to free the people he formed a rebel group in the north calling his militia the lord's resistance army. under counties command the l r a began to wage armed rebellion against uganda's army kone and his militia took brutal vengeance against anyone they suspected of collaboration. he and his militia inflicted atrocities on the local population maiming civilians and killing without mercy thousands of children were abducted into slavery. heads an organization in the provincial capital of that helps victims of the l r a return to civilian life. it's a very very you know. that is to me. it goes. if you have.
to commit crime. once and this crime with them right in the village. philip coming. home. that is. going to so this is their home for me. i should. staying here and that is. a long time. the government held numerous peace talks with the alarm time and again the negotiations failed in the mid one nine hundred ninety s. coney and his militia moved their base to sudan where they served as mercenaries for the sudanese government over and over again the l r a crossed back into uganda
to kidnap more children whenever they needed to replenish their fighting force. in two thousand and two and an army launched a major offensive in sudan and forced the rebels to take part in new peace negotiations. the talks continued for four years but also failed. the hatred and mistrust was an obstacle as was cone is unpredictable behavior. those are closest to. me. which was taking place in your god i was. gonna government. good communication and if there was. a good thing which was there was not.
what would. happen. if after the talks collapsed kone vanished from the area he and his remaining followers first hid in the democratic republic of the congo and later in the central african republic. after twenty years of terror and death and fragile peace returned to northern uganda. this comparative calm was disturbed when the n.r.a. made headlines around the world as part of the coney twenty twelve internet campaign. because the truth is coney adox kids just like. us human rights activists drew on all the tools of social media to publicize the hunt for the ugandan warlord for twenty six the atrocities committed by county and the and went viral the u.s. government capitulated to the pressure sending one hundred special forces to the central african republic to hunt the county but the furor vanished as suddenly as
it had appeared meanwhile for the people of northern uganda old wounds were reopened joseph county and his band of followers remain in hiding. it's been over thirty thousand of them. when evelyn was adopted in one thousand nine hundred four her brother oscar was just eighteen years old one day in two thousand and four he suffered the same fate as his sister oscar was eighteen and a high school student he was in the field harvesting mangoes when he was abducted by rebels. that they're living about from. forget about your family forget about anything that you left at home from gruber on why you are now our members and we shall get their way over just the way you are in our military
when we are moving the route that we used then live like below people behind both aboard if they like you. who are threatening it does away from the bigger group with intention that when one. you were to follow that the road. behind. opposite you should be asking them. that we had. for him he never wanted killing people but getting people by day young showed us for them and they just do it because sometimes the boys he's a better for. us when they're sick you loose when you kill and throw him out with so the bus will look you know. and he kind of enjoyed getting other people.
and they're. like you know you're also a villain and. there are. people like you. and that happen regularly yeah. and if i want something i don't just ask i got to do what i want my duty. so again they're. there at my age and. they were manpower when fighting there they sent people like us young people a guys you know the one who was in the front so does who stay for a long time now for them day their work is to guide us what to do. oscar was assigned to dominic on gwen's brigade a young commander on gwen was also a doctor does annoy and grew up with the rebels he has been charged with war crimes
before the international criminal court. there was a political issue but. valving. children. we were chatting when. we were chatting that the reason why we're using these kids. quickly you can forget quickly when you tell when you. if you. if you. put it to example when you take it you. don't fire then you tell them that is not good and if. you do not take it on there so when you use the. better. they have dad said yes and you can make the decision to know what is good or bad but. they just
do that without making that decision that is very day use the. you can love. i will not. never forget i will never. jackson a charmer is returning from a long day in his fields his leg is painful he has an amputation but a jamma has many mouths to feed them so he spends his days working the land that once belonged to his ancestors the chairman lives here with two y.m.c.a. brought with him from the bush and their sixteen children a charmer spent seventeen years with the l r a he was abducted himself a victim who became one of jozy of counties loyal followers even today many years after his return to civilian life he still believes in the sect's murky ideology
and insists that joseph carney was called upon by god. thirty years ago a charm i was a young teacher in a local village the rebels ambushed his school in broad daylight. and a few of his students were taken captive. you cannot quickly not have him a chance of escaping one of them. so i decided to spare my life and stay with the. school and i went i went and craning. as i was a bus you know to go to see you know for i was included in the quoted as saying that they're going to. dignify those with stay and be a year. and a year as well. expresses as well.
in the holy mission because the first thing is that what you propose sizes comes to pass. that is no life on sees the a lot it does not do it missing on that one accord everything is a done on disposition of the spirit when disobedience why doesn't the killing it is done when disputed stops killing it is done when the spirit of stops fighting even if the enemies come there will be no fighting. during one's khamis his right leg was injured later in sudan it was amputated now disabled a charmer became an administrator and rebel headquarters by then he was an officer so several women were given to him the trauma still believes in count his twisted
interpretation of the bible which he says justifies the kidnapping of children. during the mazas norwood was reputed willingly mothers tend to fight out and said i want all of this is going is to go and all that is this all went away as soon as ebel good is. so he ducks anybody that is able to fight as much as was fighting with the israelis in the same way it was. actually it was because of about six. years for the women he was supposed to stay with that. relation it bends if. a woman is already a machine woman sees another commander to be a wife so actually all of one must all of them were machine enough where wives
actually. don't go and age but if they were man begins to ministry then this say that the woman is my shoe. because if your mind was. given you may give in and be given one. because. you might be given a woman is. so. good. for you then that. jackson a charmer feels no remorse no pangs of conscience he says he did nothing wrong and neither did joseph county they just followed god's orders charm has nothing to fear from punishment in two thousand uganda passed an amnesty act to help encourage abducted child fighters to defect from the n.r.a.
jackson a charmer was able to return home without repercussions like many other commanders and older soldiers. good evening ladies and gentlemen this is radio. i don't know what radio program this afternoon and tonight which i don't have our retirees from the jungle. in nineteen ninety eight came back home and it's a very big program to welcome him we used to in such a way that the parents where i sat waiting for his coming back home.
with. walter. those of you out there know my name. we spent a long time together in the bush. i said you my greetings wherever you are why be some of you are dead. so you your desk was in line. and i gathered my courage and surrendered to the army many civilians out here take care of us they returned me to my family who greeted me warmly and i know i know that my little brothers and i are sitting next to the radio and listening to me. please come home that is all i have to say my name is okuda balla you know the kind of people left in the jungle there you see most of them are people that i need to get it if i do get it at a very low level very low level primary one two three four and that's so the best
thing was to use traditional music and introduce the music we made it in such a way that the fiends where there. was to entertain sensitize educate convinced that the comeback. we were told that the people here will really own kings by the government forces that is what they were told so that they could continue fighting fighting for their party and rule really came and yet these particular here only suffered. there wasn't really life going on home production. medication for people who are sick. so some of these things even mean. in the mid one nine hundred ninety s. . game became a star in northern uganda the rebels him and his show which he called come back home the officers usually don't allow the fighters to listen to the radio but many
do it anyhow in secret. as an intermediary for the government. they sent him into the bush to deliver messages to joseph county to gain his trust and to prepare meetings. he would call me because i was mandated by the state given i was given a. satellite phone with. air time a lot of heat. talking by the government. just to help communicate. the communication was with a purpose. for. all time. to me. because at least when someone could hear someone from talking. that would be
something else. hearing it was. telling the children. at school so and so. so and so is doing well and they are. here with. even. let's you. know it was even thought of. the program you used to know. in the summer of one nine hundred ninety four after evelyn had been abducted from her mother's farm she was forced to march for many days the rebel showed the children how to use twigs as camouflage and hide from attacks from ugandan military helicopters. the children were told to make sure their foreheads and fingernails were covered since they reflected light eleven year old evelyn was forced to march
on until the group reached the camp in south sudan. that evelyn was assigned to joseph coney as a ting ting a housemaid she had to tend to the household and counties wives and many children. after her fourteenth birthday he took her as his wife. i had no choice. we went to the bush in the morning to search for food came to me and said today is the day you will become my wife whether you want to or not. i resisted and said no i don't want that. then he took out his pistol and held it to my forehead but he said if you refuse i will kill you. so i gave up i said do with me what you will. i just had my first period when he slept with i waited for the second one but it didn't come
instead i had pain that's when i realized i was pregnant. a woman from congo lived with us in the camp they told me she could help me get rid of the child. she made a juice out of red chili peppers i drank it and had terrible pain. the pain kept getting worse and i bled. but i knew i wanted to abort the child and i had no idea how i would be able to care for it we were constantly on the march fleeing. i knew i was too young to be pregnant. three times i tried to get rid of the child but it didn't work and i gave up and said ok then i will have this baby and if i die in childbirth and that's what was meant to be. the birth was terrible it was
a girl i was afraid to nurse the baby when other people were watching i wanted to go play with the other children any time i went to spring to get water i stayed there to play with the other children. and my baby stayed at home and cried. listen mary's residential school for girls and as well known in northern uganda girls who when i spoke to attend school here know they have an opportunity to make something of themselves. big. was one of the fortunate ones she was a very good student the girls weren't permitted to leave the school grounds the militia often cross the border from sudan to carry out rights. it's there for us.
i never affected me i was trying to record in ten everything out there that each day may have come to acknowledge this situation and how everything up in. a tricky no more. memories than a scramble when i was in the us. that were not remains a mystery because one in three yeah they have the commemoration prayer for what happened on the name commemoration prayers take place and then the hope to buy every year then another thing is you had been there and then they're talking about some of us spent day in captivity it's something that the staff can only again remaining easter. was. her this was. this was. us. here.
there. the events of october the ninth nine hundred ninety six made headlines around the world until that point few outside the region had heard of the atrocities being committed in uganda that changed with the abduction of one hundred thirty nine young girls from the residential school of a boca. if . the rebels came under cover of darkness eleven armed militia members stormed the dormitory and took the girls hostage. today there is a memorial to the girls in the courtyard. so when we moved down in their money
around nineteen and there we started seeing since day when she kept on a good shape do you negotiate with them have elements one and two there they first started in one place so i think they had a lot maybe two and of a few of the guys to her sister did not choose what to do you may know what to do with come back we have we chose the them scales. and he's so how did that the of us on one side one hundred nine on one side they insist on got to come and talk to us to where i remain me we only knew that when she was. first class and started talking to us we couldn't help ourselves i started learning and we screamed but that is so that was an issue started. making me spend they didn't eighty has in captivity at that time i didn't know what my fate
would be. with her so when i was abducted i take i didn't know bertie a man hears me today being given to a man marries old i didn't know where i was given to he may thirtieth yesterday nice woman i had been staying in and i was placed about their grief being planned out on when you called me. and then you saying i'm used to wife so it's like you and me. and that. marked the beginning ok you. have a very intimate dance with us and i think you do i. but it is still out there it's me up to you today. i don't know way kept you out there until you know one people have windows look at myself what comes in life of one individual at our home we have many. coming to the
school thinking i was thinking share my future. i need to end up in the bush and really why did you feel like i've never heard. it hurts me when i think oh. but at the end of the day. i have to accept their situation and also and will. four years later victoria had her first child at the age of seventeen or eighteen and then she had another child during an attack by government soldiers she managed to flee after eight years in captivity her children were very young victoria decided not to tell them who their father is and how they came to be born and have a plan of tending them this yeah but i'm going through late. one i don't need to jail is that thing where betty she will go on asking friends and we had school that
when they say this what you mean i don't i want them when they can appreciate you they were sure. there's only way to be better your guy and if somebody told you there's no stigma that if. i get this big in my big mouth that. evelyn and her oldest daughter bucky to have experienced that stigma. back home and people said that back ito looks like county. that's when evelyn decided to send her daughter to a residential school in the capital camp almost four hundred kilometers away. when bakita was small i couldn't help remembering how i was forced to have this
child. i saw coney hold the pistol to my head i couldn't feel love for her. today i can i do what i can to make sure she is cared for. i know i'm the only person who can help her. today i love bakita and i feel a terrible burden of guilt because i treated her so badly when she was little. but was born in one thousand nine hundred ninety seven in a mud hot in an hour a camp in south sudan. twas head. but. i didn't know that. i just knew that was for us. to us. that. is when i lost my sister and i for you i remember everything that happened that night
when i was too. and then i was home with my sister i met my. mad that was and then we saw airplanes coming something like that and people too cool i was in macy's that bag just didn't know how she she took another direction and i mean i had this bizarre just so young i didn't know what to do but i remember i still was like i still recall what happened how she when i watch us but. i try to forget but at night i dream of winnie even today i'm still searching for her. if she were still with me she would be in secondary school like her sister but . when he was never found in january two thousand and four shortly after the birth of her daughter massey evelyn's group came under attack. that day everything changed evelyn and her daughters were
captured by government soldiers they survived i'm afraid. that was and i was there and i know she said it was my best day. because i remember something maybe after two days. one day my mom had given birth to my sibling and then there was that she was too she was too not feeling well with the baby as well and so on. then. i remember she wanted to throw the baby i wanted to attend to after she threw her but i peeked and i kept on running with the big. yeah and then i think it was the next day but we slept in some. reason to live in the following day yeah we're kupchak. we want. to say. i remember i was his
favorite child. yeah he used to like me used to carry me the things i could remember and they also remember on that do in may when i lost my sister that will i remember what happened to us from showing something like that and then. the airplanes came and by then he had gone to the bathroom i just saw him running we bestow or that's a little bit of the less to me so you take that. to me was a good father because he didn't do anything bad to me so personally i would not go again his team because he has never done anything bad to me i am not a witness in this the simple but he has done something bad to my mom ruining his her future. yes she suffered a lot although most of the suffering was before i when i became old enough like when i was too young this when she says she went through many things yeah.
for many of those kidnapped by the n.r.a. as children liberation did not bring an end to their suffering. many victims of the abductions perform self-help groups like the women's advocacy network they make jewelry and for many the sale of the jewelry is their only source of income. it was so hard to return to normal life. sometimes i thought it would have been better if i had died in the bush. after i escaped from the l r a i was in the rehabilitation center in. everyone else receive visits from their family i waited for my family to come and get me but no one came. finally someone informed my mother and she came. she stated as and left and never came back.
i ran away from the rehabilitation center and followed her to avalanche. she trying to get away from me. but i kept following her. finally yelled at me jennifer i'm going to tell you once and for all i have crossed your name off the list of my children. i want i'm no longer my daughter. find someone else you can call mother and then she turned around and left. dominic on gwen was a commander of an l.r. a brigade he was abducted is a boy forced to take up a weapon and rose in the ranks nearly thirty years later in two thousand and fifteen he turned himself in to the ugandan army today he is standing trial at the international criminal court in the hague laws the former child soldier
a victim of the l r a's atrocities or a perpetrator. it is not for. the other did the government say that it would always in you have amnesty you come back there's no problem with you we know you were not there. right now and. i don't think. coming back home and arrest warrant has also been issued for joseph county tony is still frame in hiding in uganda people are trying to expand shame from their memories. baloch he destroyed my life in those eleven years i was in the bush i could have done so many other things with my life . and i didn't make it today i'm doing better
and i don't need to fight for my daily survival should he be punished for what he did i forgave him a long time ago everything else is up to god to decide my life i didn't see him do that but maybe us commanding other people to do that so i i don't have the deserts to say he's right bodies because to me he was good to me. i it's it was right for every bad thing that you're doing this while you must pay for it. if. and. it's ok. if me i have moved or. whatever. i don't my. thanks.
man toria wants to attend university but she doesn't have the money she hasn't decided yet whether she'll tell her children who the father is. is out of work he says he wouldn't be able to manage a degree or proper job training ever since his time in captivity he's been unable to concentrate. evelyn's daughter baccy to his living in camp are under a different name she wants to study law and become a lawyer evelyn hopes to find a good psychologist she says her mind is no longer works the way i used to she's written a book about her life which has sold a few copies but not enough to make a living. today evelyn lives with mubarak who was also abducted as a child by the way they have two children together.
the victims have received no compensation for the last years they spent in the bush for the loss of their families and for raising the children they were forced to bear. joseph county is still out there somewhere an evil spirit they say who should remain where he is. cold volume. cold pounds. and a long san lorenzo find. this
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