tv Doc Film - Children of Terror - Young Rebel Captives in Uganda Deutsche Welle December 3, 2017 4:15am-5:00am CET
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years i was in the bush i could have done many things with my life. which everyone can say you're as it stands some it wouldn't happen. so people would think they were going to understand that. there's a celebration underway today in the town of 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 still hasn't healed. the people here are celebrating the anniversary of evelyn and his mother's death. three years off to 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 coney head of the. everyone
here young and old is a victim of the terror waged by the. families the children parents grandparents many were kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers given no choice but to plunder and kill young women how to bad the children of that kidnapped us. 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. by shell 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 ammon his ordeal began here in the bush near the road that leads to atlanta on august twenty fifth one thousand nine hundred ninety four at about five p.m. . evelyn lived with her mother and her grandparents on their nearby farm. she was just eleven years old when. she shows us the place where the family's heart was 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 your name i didn't reply they took sticks and beat me. are you evelyn money they asked me. 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. 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 and undeveloped.
after uganda or achieved independence in one thousand nine hundred sixty two various armed groups trying to seize power under the dictator. political opponents were brutally pasa cupid. a chilly who opposed him in 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 dispatched 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 county's 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 gulu that helps victims of the l r a return to civilian life. it's a very very you know. that is to me. they were strong. because. if you abducted. to commit crime.
once and this crime with them right in the village. the feel of coming. home as it is. now on is going to so this is their home for me. i should fight. staying here and that is. a long time. the government held numerous peace talks with the l.r. i 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 you know. in two thousand and two the ugandan 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 you that is not me or does not. always was taking place in your god i was back you're gonna government. means. good communication to get well informed of the good thing which was there was not. bad government. 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 for county but the fear all 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. and. when evelyn was adopted in one thousand nine hundred four her brother oscar was just eighty 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. that there were over just a few in our military when we were moving the route that we used
then live like below people behind both aboard a day like. two or three kilometers away from the bigger group with intention that when one. would follow that the road. behind. what was it. would be rescuing them. that we had. for him movie he never wanted killing people but getting people by day young showed us for them they just do it because sometimes the words he's voted for thirty of us when they secure loose when you kill and throw him out with so do both . and he enjoyed it you know other people. and there. are you know you also have been.
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 i would soon get there that are my age. 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 those who stayed for a long time now for them day that walk used to guide us what to do. oscar was assigned to dominic on gwen's brigade a young commander on gwen was also a doctor it is a boy and grew up with the rebels he has been charged with war crimes before the international criminal court. there was
a political issue but instead going valving politicians involved us to doing. so and wearing their boys we were accepting when and using mind that they were expecting that that is why we are using these kids kids can forget quickly you can feel very quickly when you tell when you tell him. if you do not. if you're going to put it example when you're. done you're going to fire then you're telling them that this fire is not good and a fire burns their hands that kid will not take it out there so when you use this kid in a fight better. they have death said listen you. don't know what is good or bad but when you instruct. you that that and i think that is fair that
is why i dare use the us. but you cannot forget what have. i would not. and will never forget i would never. jackson a charmer is returning from a long day in his fields his leg is painful he has an amputation but it 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 the charmer spent seventeen years with the l r a he was abducted himself a victim who became one of jozy of coney's 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 county was called upon by kong.
thirty years ago a charmer 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 can i would not have any chance of escaping from them. so i decided to spare my life and stay with me. so. i went i had to wind them a little training. as i was a bus you know going to see no four i was included in the quoted as saying that they commissioned the glacier as a. place where. spirit express is our. holy mission because the
first thing is that what have you prefer sizes comes to pass that is no life on c.s. the a lot it does not do it is on that one accord everything is a done on this but we should all this period when disobedience why doesn't the killing it is done when disputed stops killing it is done when this bit is stopped fighting even the enemies come that it 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 counties twisted interpretation of the bible which he says justifies the kidnapping of children.
during the mazas norwood was the put it willingly mother's day and said i want all of this is to go and all that is this all went away. bill good. is this all india so he ducks anybody that is able to fight as much as was fighting with the u.s. at least in the same way it was. actually it was a big force of about six thousand men yes but the women were actually supposed to stay with. the relation it bends if they were the woman is already a machine woman sees allotted to a commander to be a wife so action all of one must all of them were machine enough well wife's
actually in. a dog gone age but if they were not of against the ministry then they say that the woman is a shoe. i was given because if you are already a commander was get the ball on keeping the woman you are given you may get in big even one i got him to do you have the ability assessing whether they've gone because the final month will accept that you might be given a woman is even so you find out your definition of getting two or three of four given that number of. jackson a charm a fails no remorse no pangs of conscience he says he did nothing wrong and neither did james have county they just followed gongs orders. a 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
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 some of you are dead. so you was in line. 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. i know that my little brothers are now sitting next to the radio and listening to me. please come home that is all i have to say my name is. you know the kind of people left in the jungle there you see most of them are people who are an indicator if you do get it at a very low level very low level primary one two three four so the best thing was to use traditional music and introduce new music we made it in such
a way that the fields where there. was to entertain says case educate convinced that the comeback. we were taught that the people here will really killed by government forces that is what they were told so that they could continue fighting fighting for their part in really killed and yet here only seven there wasn't really life going on home production they said. medication for people who are sick. so some of these things even mean. in the mid one nine hundred ninety s. what again became a star in northern uganda the rebels' new 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. that he would call me because i was mandated by the state given i was given to after. satellite phone with. air time a lot of heat. talking by the government. just to help communicate. the communication was with a purpose. for. you sometimes. to me. because at least when someone could hear someone from talking. that would
be something else. hearing it while. telling the children. at school so and so. these guys are so and so is doing well and they're gritty you your children around here would even say let's have used. it was even sounding good through 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
a leader joseph county as a ting ting a housemaid she had to tend to the household and counties wives and many children. shortly after her fourteenth birthday he took her as his wife. when i had no choice. we went to the bush in the morning to search for food coney 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 my way. but i knew i wanted to abort the child i had no idea how i would be able to care for it we were constantly on the march fleeing that's when 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 good i would look at it then bin laden. 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 and the 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. this isn't mary's residential school for girls in a bokeh is 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 tory and was one of the fortunate ones she was a very good student the girls weren't permitted to leave the school grounds the a militia often crossed the border from sudan to carry out rights. it's their first day back kind of affected me i was trying to record in ten everything out there
that it's come to acknowledge this situation and how everything up in. a tricky no more. memories than a scramble for you when i was in the us. that were no remains the mystery was when every year they have that commemoration prayer for what happened on the name commemoration 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 down main street. was. this was. this was. well you know. here.
i am. the events of october the nine 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 was a memorial to the girls in the courtyard. so when we moved down in their money around nineteen and there we started saying stay stay clean she kept going negras
she may go shooting with them at around six one two there the fire started in one place so i think they had a plan 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 combative half they chose eat them scales. and he saw how death that the of us who were on one side one hundred nine on one side then ceased d'agata 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 running on would scream but that is so there was an issue of static. making me spend they didn't eighty had been captivity at that time i didn't know what my fate would be. with her so when i was abducted i taped i didn't know about him and
here is me today being given to a man marries old i didn't know where i was given to him a third guy would yes they knew so many had been staying in another place but david being timed out on when he called me. and then you saying i'm use wife so it's look to me. that. marked the beginning ok you. have a very insecure dance was not a good one. but it is still out there it's me up to you today. i don't know way kept up then to know one people have always looked 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 needed to end up in the bush and really why did you feel like i'd 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 year but i'm going through late one i don't need to delegate is that thing where betty she will go and asking friends are we allowed school that when they say this what you mean i don't i want them
when they can appreciate it they were sure. they speak to my we learn ways to be there your guy and if somebody told you they have no stigma that is a lie even. 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 looks like tony. 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. 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 heart in an hour a camp in south sudan. was head. but. i didn't know that. i just knew that was how life was. to us. but. everything that happened. and then i was home with my
sister i met my. eyes. and then we saw airplanes come in something like that and people to cool i was in macy's that bag just didn't know how she she took another direction and i met this because as a 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 and i say it was maybe. because i remember something maybe of two days. one day my mom had given birth to my sibling and then there was that she was too she was to not feeling well with the baby as well and so on. then. i remember she wanted to throw the baby i don't need to attend to actually she threw her but i peaked and i kept on running with the big. yeah and then i think it was the next day but we slipped in some new reason to live it in the following day yeah wake up check. 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 always remember on that due 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 with this tower that's all of that is unless to me so you take that. to me he was a good father because he didn't do anything bad to me so personally i would never again is him because he has never done anything bad to me i am not i would miss the support but he has done something bad to my mom ruining his her future. she suffered a lot although most of the suffering was before i when i became old enough like when i was too young that's 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 reform 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 gulu everyone else receive visits from their family i waited for my family to come and get me but no one came to the finally someone informed my mother and she came. she stayed in day as and left and never came back
. i ran away from the rehabilitation center and followed her to avalanche. she tried 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 will 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 was 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 said 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 him from their memories. baloch he destroyed my life in those eleven years i was in that 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 message to say he is right about this room because to me he was group too. it's good. for everybody thing that you're doing this well you must pay for it. if you have and the. it's ok if me i have moved or. whatever thanks. my. thanks. we will never go. back torie a
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 your degree or proper job training ever since his time in captivity he's been unable to concentrate. evelyn's daughter back into 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. they have two children together. the victims have received no compensation for the last years they spent in the bush for
full plate. french prisons. highest recruiters have it easy here thousands of prisoners are squeezed into overcrowded jails with little hope for their futures. was one of them he explained nearly became a terrorist. in thirty minutes. program guide. like. the whole. dot com highlights. when i'm traveling to be comfortable.
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